NEW Millennium Love
Love and Pleasure
Posted Feb 27/02
Posted Feb 27/02
(Ended Oct 17/01)
Admitting the Truth
(Posted July 12/01)
(Posted May 29/01)
(Ended Jan 28/01)
Well, again I just want to apologize for the delay in getting this chapter posted. I didn't intend for it to take so long, but s**t happens! (Maybe I'll just leave this apology here permanently! :S)
This is my first Nsync-centric story. Although, yes, I must admit that BSB do make appearances. But the main focus is Lance and a fictional character.
Just wanted to thank everyone who emailed me about the first couple of chapters of this story, and about all of my other stories. I hope to hear from you again, and hopefully hear from new readers too!
A Don't know them, never met them, never will!
B Under age...don't tell me. I don't want either of us to get in trouble!
Comments about this story or any of my stories can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thank you for reading!
(Ended Feb 6/00)
(Posted May 8/00)
Set You Free
(Ended Apr 11/00)
Ten Guys, One Night
(Posted Apr 7/00)
(under College section)
(Posted Dec 16/00)
Lance gave Chris the restaurant's address and hung up. He grabbed his wallet, phone and keys before heading out. He stopped at a record store and bought a couple of new CD's he wanted. Before he left he ran over to the pop music section and found the N's. He grabbed one of each of the '*Nsync disks that were there and went to the cash to pay. He smiled to himself when he realized that the guy at the register didn't recognize him. He stopped at a business supply store to pick up paper, ink and other supplies for Freelance.
Checking his watch, Lance decided to head to the restaurant. He arrived a few minutes early but decided to go in and get a seat. Hopefully he'd have a chance to talk to Martin too. He stopped at the front to wait to be seated. This time a young man was working and asked how many.
"There will be two of us. I'm waiting for a friend," Lance said.
The young man indicated for Lance to follow him. As they walked through the restaurant, Lance noticed Kelley waiting on a table. When she saw him, she blushed. Lance waved. The waiter was showing Lance to a table right in the middle of the restaurant by the large front window. Lance groaned inwardly.
"Hey Pete, I think a table with a little more privacy might be better," Kelley suggested as she approached them.
Lance smiled. "Hi Kelley. I'd appreciate that," he added.
Pete looked confused until Kelley quietly told him who Lance was. Pete immediately led Lance to a table close to where he and JC had sat the day before. Pete returned to the front and Kelley brought over a menu.
"So are you expecting company?" she asked.
Lance nodded. "Yeah, Chris Kirkpatrick should be here any minute," he replied.
Kelley smiled. "Okay, I'll bring him over when I see him," she said and turned to leave.
Lance reached out and touched her arm. "Kelley, is Martin, I mean Mr. Reed, here today?"
Kelley shook her head and her expression changed. "Um, no, he wasn't feeling well so decided to stay home today," she said. Lance could tell that wasn't the whole story.
"Oh, okay," Lance said quietly, unable to completely hide his disappointment.
Just as Kelley left, Chris walked in. Kelley met him at the door and showed him to the table where Lance was. She took their drink orders and left.
Chris looked at Lance and knew something was wrong. "Alright Lansten what's wrong?" he asked.
Lance closed his eyes for a minute and sighed. "I really have no idea. Everything is just ."
"Tell me," Chris prodded gently.
Kelley returned with their drinks. Without looking at the menu, Chris ordered a club sandwich with fries. Lance wasn't really hungry anymore, but ordered the same as Chris.
Lance waited until Kelley left, then looked at Chris. "Last night, Martin stopped by to return my phone." Chris' eyes widened, but he didn't say anything, and Lance continued. "He looked terrible, really frazzled, upset I don't know. I gave him a beer and we sat there for a few minutes, without talking. Finally I asked him what was wrong and he just bolted." Lance sighed and took a drink. "He's not here today," Lance continued in a quiet voice. "Kelley said he wasn't feeling well so stayed home, but there's something else going on." They sat quietly for a few minutes.
"Lance," Chris finally said, gently touching Lance's arm. "I don't mean to sound harsh but you've gotten way too attached too quickly, man. You don't even know if he's " Chris stopped talking when he heard Kelley returning with their food. Once she left, he continued. "Lance, you don't know what kind of crap is going on in his life, you don't know him at all. You've only talked to him a couple of times. You gave him your card, right?"
Lance nodded. "Okay, then all you can do is sit back and wait. If he calls, then go on from there. If he doesn't, he has too much baggage. And if he's not gay, maybe it would be better if he doesn't call," Chris added. He knew he sounded cold but he knew Lance. Lance had the biggest heart of anyone he'd ever met, which meant that Lance became attached very quickly and also got hurt more. Lance didn't need to be burned again.
Lance was quiet, processing what Chris had said. Chris continued to eat while Lance thought. This was a pattern with Lance. Whenever someone told him something important, he would go very quiet while he ran it over and over again in his mind until he was satisfied. Lance sighed and Chris looked up at his friend.
"You're right Chris. I don't know why this became so important to me." He shrugged. "I'll just wait and see what happens." They finished eating their meal and talked about the new CD. They would be starting to record soon and were looking forward to it.
Chris invited Lance to go with he and Joey to a club that night. Lance wasn't much for clubs but decided it was better than staying at home, thinking. He agreed to meet them at Chris' place at eight. Chris insisted on paying for lunch, despite Lance's objections. They left the restaurant and separated, going to their own vehicles. Lance climbed into his car and noticed the bag with the CDs he'd bought. The two *Nsync disks were for Martin. After a moment's hesitation he grabbed the bag and walked back to the restaurant. He waved Kelley over.
"Kelley, would you do me a favor and give this to Martin?" Lance asked, handing her the bag.
"Uh, sure," she replied. "Any message?"
Lance shook his head. "No, just tell him who it's from. Thanks Kelley." Lance walked slowly back to his car.
Lance was surprised how quickly the next few days passed. Each day the group got together at the studio to discuss arrangements, both musical and vocal, for the new songs. Lance threw himself into FreeLance, making concert arrangements for his singers and looking at a couple of new acts that he might sign.
The fourth day, after Chris and he had had lunch at Le Grande, his phone rang.
"Hello, James?" a hesitant voice asked.
Lance's gut did a little flip. "This is James," he replied.
"James, this is Martin Reed."
"Hi Martin," Lance said. He wasn't sure what he should say.
"I um thank you for the CDs," Martin said quietly. "I'm sorry I missed you at the restaurant." Lance didn't say anything. "I was wondering if your offer was still good?"
Lance thought about it for a moment, but only a moment. "Sure Martin. So you want to see the sights of the city, huh?"
Martin laughed softly. "Yeah. I should know a little about the city I live in, don't ya think?"
Lance smiled too. "Probably. What did you have in mind?"
"I don't know. When do you have some free time?" Martin asked.
"Today. We're not doing anything at the studio today so its all mine," Lance responded.
"Well I don't want to take up all your spare time James. I can only imagine you don't get very much of it."
Lance appreciated the consideration. "That's okay Martin. I really don't have anything planned. Why don't we meet somewhere and grab some lunch, then tour the town," Lance suggested.
"I could stop by your place," Martin suggested.
"Okay. Come over for eleven. We can eat early then I'll show you around."
"Sounds good James. Thanks. See ya soon."
Lance hung up the phone and sat down on the kitchen chair. He'd called. Lance had almost given up hoping. He glanced at the clock and realized he only had an hour. He quickly cleaned the kitchen before going back to the bedroom. Lance picked out an outfit to wear and went to shower. He spent a long time on his hair, longer than normal, but he wanted it to be just right. Staring at his image in the mirror, Lance stopped. What was he doing? Martin just wants to see the city. He has a daughter and probably a wife too. Lance forced himself to calm down and walked out to the living room.
Before long, the buzzer went off. He quickly checked to see that it was Martin and buzzed him in. He waited until Martin knocked on the door before opening it.
"Hi Martin," Lance greeted him, smiling and secretly relieved that the other man looked better than the last time.
"James. Good to see you again," Martin said as he walked in past Lance.
"Can I get you anything Martin?" Lance asked.
Martin looked over at Lance and shook his head. "Deja vu. Could we talk for a minute James?" Martin asked intently.
Lance nodded and they walked into the living room. Martin sat down and looked at the floor. "I wanted to apologize James for my behavior the other night. I should have kept my personal problems to myself and not create a scene like I did."
Lance listened to Martin. He could tell the man was still not completely back to himself, but he wasn't going to push. "Martin, listen. We're all human; we all have problems. Sometimes things just happen and you have no control over it. Don't worry about it. I was just a little concerned about you. I don't know if you have a lot of friends here, but if you ever need someone to talk to I'm told I'm a good listener," Lance added.
Martin smiled. "Thanks James. Friends are in short supply at the moment," he paused. "Can I ask you something?"
"When you and your friend Josh came to the restaurant, he introduced you as Lance, yet you told me your name is James."
Lance grinned. "My full name is James Lance Bass. My stage name, for lack of a better term is Lance. Only a few people, like my family and friends, call me James. Even the guys in the band call me both Lance and James, as well as a few other things," Lance added with a laugh.
Martin smiled. "So I'm one of the chosen few?"
Lance blushed. "Yeah. In more ways than one," he added under his breath, but Martin heard him.
"What do you mean James?" Martin asked curiously.
Lance sighed. "Well not many people know that I'm gay. Only the people I work with and a few others. Not even my family knows," Lance added in a whisper.
Martin stared at Lance for a moment. "Wow. Thank you for trusting me with such a personal piece of information," he said seriously.
Lance looked over at Martin. "Now can I ask you something?" Martin nodded. "Why were you so surprised to see your daughter the other day?"
Martin closed his eyes for a few seconds then stood up. Lance realized he'd messed up; that subject was obviously still very sensitive for Martin. Lance jumped to his feet and walked to the other man's side. "Listen Martin, forget I asked. It's none of my business. Let's just go get some lunch and enjoy the rest of the day. You know, forget about our troubles for a while," he said lightly.
Martin smiled weakly at Lance. "Thanks James," he said as they began walking towards the door. "How about asking me something else, if we're going to play twenty questions?"
Lance thought about it as they took the elevator downstairs. He led Martin to his car. "Since I'm playing tour guide, we'll take my car, okay?" Martin nodded. Once Lance started driving, he came up with a question, remembering what JC had said in the meeting a few days ago. "I have a question. I hope it's not too rude to ask, but how old are you Martin?" Lance glanced over at Martin. He was relieved to see that Martin wasn't offended by the question.
"I'll be thirty-one in July, James. What about you?"
"I'm twenty-two," Lance replied.
Martin looked at him closely. "Really? Not that you look it, but the way you act, and hold yourself, I thought you were older, about 26 or 27," Martin admitted.
Lance laughed. "Well, sometimes I feel that old. Actually, that's about how old I thought you were. I never would have guessed that you're over the hill," he said with a grin.
Martin lightly punched Lance's arm. "Hey, I'm at the peak of my life. I could beat you at any challenge, you young pup!"
Both men laughed and the atmosphere became one of companionable silence. They soon arrived at Lance's favorite Chinese restaurant. Once they had ordered they continued to exchange questions.
"How long have you been in the restaurant business?" Lance asked.
Martin took a drink of his coffee. "Most of my adult life it seems," he said with a smile. "I started out working in a restaurant when I was in high school. I've always loved to cook. Where I worked, the owner was also the chef and he really showed me the business; everything from the ordering to the cooking and the managing. I went to college for business administration, but when I graduated I took a job managing a restaurant. About five years ago, I eventually bought my own place," Martin explained. "My turn. Where are you from? I detect an accent but I'm not good at placing them. And how did you end up here?"
Lance told Martin about growing up in Mississippi and how he ended up joining *Nsync. They talked throughout the meal, describing the trouble they got into as kids, the kind of music they liked. Lance made sure the topic never returned to Martin's daughter. He figured if Martin wanted to talk about it, he would bring it up.
When they finished, Lance drove them around the city, showing Martin where the tourist traps were and anything else he thought would be of interest. Late in the afternoon, Lance began driving back to his apartment.
"Lance, would you mind if we stopped at the mall for a few minutes? I just need to pick up a few groceries and it would save me from backtracking," Martin said.
"No problem Martin," Lance replied as he pulled into the parking lot. Lance decided to be daring and left his hat and glasses in the car as he followed Martin into the store. They were only there for about two minutes before Lance regretted his decision.
He could hear a murmur running through the store. It was like a domino effect as the murmur ran down one aisle then up the next. As soon as Lance started hearing whispers of 'that's Lance' or 'he's from *Nsync', he knew there was going to be a hassle.
"Martin," Lance said quietly, trying not to attract too much more attention. "I think I better go back to the car."
Martin looked at Lance in confusion. "Why?" He hadn't experienced a fan mob scene before but was about to get his first taste. Before Lance could answer, they both heard a number of teenage girls scream. Word had spread out into the mall that Lance was there and a stream of girls began running into the store. Lance looked quickly around for a way out. Martin simply stood there, stunned. The girls began running down the aisle towards the two men.