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Lance's cell phone started to ring. Lance flipped it open, looked at the caller ID, then turned the phone off and slipped it into his pocket. Starring out the window, Lance did not see the passing city. And no one could see the single tear run down his cheek.
Marc stood at the window of their room watching the limo pull away. He slowly removed his cell phone from his ear. Now watching the limo disappear down the street, Marc softly said. "Please, James. Not like this," as a single tear ran down his cheek.
Marc was standing at the window gazing blankly out it when the pounding at the door to the suite brought him back. Throwing on his robe, Marc went to the door. Checking the peephole before opening the door, Marc could see Beth and Ed.
When Marc opened the door, Marc's face confirmed Beth's fears "Marc, what happened? We were coming out of the restaurant when we saw Lance come off the elevator. He looked upset. When JC asked what was wrong, Lance bit his head off."
"Oh, Beth, I really screwed up this time," Marc said as he let them into the suite.
Going to the table, they sat down. "What happened?" Beth asked with concern.
"They had left for their interview and I went to take a shower. Lance came back to our room for something while I was in the shower. He caught me doing something that I had told the guys I didn't do," Marc started to explain.
"What were you doing, choking the chicken? All guys do that in the shower," Ed commented.
"I only wish. No, it was something else," Marc said.
"Marc, you were alone in the shower? Weren't you?" Beth asked.
"Yeah, I was alone. It was nothing
like that. Lance heard me singing in the
"Why would he be upset about you singing?" Beth asked.
"From the very beginning I have maintained that I don't sing."
"You don't sing. Not that you can't sing, right?" Ed asked.
"Right," Marc answered.
"And I take it Lance didn't get mad because you sing poorly. Right?" Beth asked with some understanding.
"Right. If I sung off key there would not be this problem,"
"But what is the problem?" Ed asked, still not comprehending.
"I have a good singing voice. But I can sing only when I am alone. If I try to sing around people, I get sick. Very sick," Marc told them.
"Stage fright?" Ed asked.
"Partially. But I think it has something to do with my amnesia. If I am alone in a room, I can sing with no problem. I can even record it. But if someone is in the room I get sick. I break out in a sweat, stomach cramps, then I throw up," Marc told them.
With a cringe Ed said, "That is not what I would want to see on stage."
"Lance thought I had been lying to him all along. Now he is questioning our relationship. He wouldn't even let me explain," Marc said as his eyes filled with tears. "I don't know what I will do if I lose him."
"You wont lose him Marc. If we can get him to listen to you, he will understand," Beth said, trying to assure Marc.
"But he wont even talk to me. I tried calling him on his cell; he turned it off," Marc answered, clearly in distress.
"We'll just have to get him somewhere that he has to listen to you," Ed said.
Marc thought for a minute, and then it came to him. "I know what I must do. But I'm going to need some help," Marc said.
"We will help you if we can. But first I think you need to wash your face and get dressed," Beth suggested.
Marc worked hard the rest of the morning, helping setting up the banquet hall for the night's party. The work helped him focus on what he knew he had to do and not contemplate the worst.
During the lunch break, Marc went off to a nearby music store to pick up what he needed for tonight's talent show. He returned just as rehearsals for the talent show was starting, carrying a guitar case.
"I thought we were going to do a dance number." Beth said.
"We are. This is for later," Marc explained.
"You didn't eat, did you?"
"No, I can't. I'll be all right," Marc assured her.
Everyone went through their routines and everything looked good. Marc took his new guitar out of the case, grabbing some sheet music from his backpack and made his way to the small stage. Clearing his throat, Marc announced, "Can I have everyone's attention? Thank you. There's something else I want to do tonight. And I need your help. . . ."
"I don't know what happened but it must
be Marc's fault," Chris whispered to
"Chris, don't fly off the handle. We don't know what happened," Justin said, trying to calm Chris.
"I thought Scoop was your best friend" Chris said.
"He is. And so is Marc. And until we find out what happened I'm not going to judge anyone," Justin said with conviction
Marc came out of the rest room wiping his face with a wet towel.
"You all right?" Beth asked with concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I didn't throw up that time," Marc answered weakly.
"Marc, Beth," Ed called them, indicating the group of people entering the room.
"Oh shit! What are they doing here," Beth said softly.
"Who are they?" Marc asked.
"The bosses. The fat guy is Lou Pearlman, and the other one is Johnny Wright," Beth answered.
Marc also saw Lynn enter the room.
Smiling, Marc went to greet her. "Lynn, I
"I told you yesterday I would see you soon," Lynn said while giving Marc a hug.
"I didn't expect it to be this soon," Marc said while looking at the two new arrivals.
"Marc, I want you to meet some people; Johnny Wright and Lou Pearlman," Lynn said indicating the two men. "Gentlemen, may I present Marc Newman."
Marc chatted with Johnny and Lou as he and Lynn walked them to their suite, just across the hall from the one he shared with the guys.
"You planning on coming to the party?" Marc asked.
"That's why we're here. Wouldn't miss it," Johnny said.
"Great. Of course you do know proper costume is required?" Marc asked.
"I think we can come up with something that will work," said a smiling Lou.
"Hey! We need judges for the costume
contest and the talent show. Would you
They looked at each other and agreed with a nod. Lynn said, "We'll do it."
"Great. I'll see you all at the party." Marc said as he turned to his room.
Marc stood staring out the window,
lost in thought when he heard a soft knock.
Marc's eyes quickly filled with tears as he blurted out, "Lance is mad at me and he wont even talk to me."
Lynn gathered Marc into her arms. Holding him tight as the tears flooded forth. She let him have his cry, softly rubbing his back and telling him it will be all right.
Regaining his composure, Marc was able to tell Lynn the whole story.
The guys had just finished their last interview. They were standing around chatting when Justin excused himself to go to the rest room. Justin was drying his hands when his cell phone rang. "Hello," he answered.
"Honey, are you some place you can talk?" Lynn asked.
"Yeah, I'm in the rest room. Why?" Justin asked.
Lynn handed the phone to Marc. "Just, it's me."
"Marc, what the hell's going on?"
"I take it Lance hasn't filled you in on what happened."
"No. He's not talking to anyone. Can you tell me what happened?"
"Just, it's too complicated to go into right now. Let's just say I did something stupid and now I'm paying for it. It will all become clear tonight. I just need your help. Get Joey and JC to help you. Be sure Lance goes to the party tonight."
"Sure, I think we can get him there. Will you explain everything at the party?"
"Yes, you all will know everything by the end of the party. I promise."
"Well, ok then. I'll see what we can come up with to get him to the party."
"Well maybe this will help. Johnny Wright and Lou Pearlman flew in with your mom. They're here now and they will be at the party."
"Thanks, that will get him there. What should I tell the guys when they ask how I knew Johnny and Lou are in town?"
"Tell them the truth. Mom called
you to say hi, and to let you know they were in
"I can do that. She did call me. Marc, you can fix this. Can't you?"
"I'm going to do my best."
"That's all I need to know. I believe in you and love you, big brother."
"Thanks, little brother, I love you too. Bye."
Marc hung the phone up and turned to see
Lynn giving him a questioning look.
The guys got back to their suite around four. Lance was glancing toward his room when JC found the note on the table.
"Here's a note from Marc. It says, 'Guys. Sorry to miss you. There are last minute details I need to take care of. Hope to see everyone at six. By the way, if you don't already know, Johnny Wright, Lou Pearlman, and Lynn showed up this afternoon. They will be at the party. See you all later, Marc.' "
Marc was talking with Johnny when the guys
arrived. JC, Joey and Lance were dressed as greasers. Justin
chose the preppie look with a letterman's sweater.
Justin spotted Marc and he had to keep from laughing at Marc's outfit. Marc was the classic nerd. Green stripped button-down dress shirt with a black bow tie. Red and green plaid pants that came up real high in the waist and were two inches short in the legs. Black dress shoes with white socks. His hair was parted down the middle; he had dark rimmed glasses with the bridge taped together with white tape. And of course his outfit had the proper accessories, in his shirt pocket was a pocket protector with pens and pencils and a slide rule.
Marc saw the guys look his way, seeing smiles come across their faces as they spotted him in his outfit. Lance even smiled for a few seconds until he realized who it was, then the smile disappeared and he turned his attention to another part of the room. Marc's heart ached at this snub.
Marc excused himself from Johnny as he saw the guys approach. Marc didn't want to cause a scene so he went to check on how the malt shop was doing.
The guys were a little amused at Johnny's costume. He was dressed as a basketball coach. "Hey Johnny, what are you doing here?" JC asked.
"Hi, guys. I came to see how Marc is spending my money," Johnny said with a smile.
"We were told Lou was with you," Chris said.
"He is," Johnny said while pointing out Lou over at the Malt Shop. Lou was dressed as a police officer and, at the moment, he was eating donuts.
"You going to be able to do this?" Lynn asked with concern.
"I have to. I can't lose him," Marc said as he removed his glasses and bow tie.
"Everything's ready," Beth said to Marc as he approached the stage.
Picking up the microphone that was sitting
on a stool in the middle of the stage.
The audience roared their approval.
"While our judges are tabulating the scores, I have asked to have this time for something special," Marc said while looking out over the crowd as their attention turned to him. Taking a deep breath, Marc elaborated. "Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege to get to know and work with most all of you. And some of you I'm proud to call friends. And it is to those friends I now want to say I'm sorry." Looking at Lance, Marc explained, "Since we first met, I have been keeping something from you. And this secret I've been keeping has now hurt someone very important to me. So now, I must end the lie. I must come out of the closet, so to speak."
Marc placed the microphone in its stand and picked up the guitar. He adjusted the mike to pick up the sound of the guitar. As Marc began to play the opening bars to the song, four of Marc's friends joined him on stage.
Looking only at Lance, blocking out everything and everybody else, Marc opened his heart and sang. . .
When the visions around you,
And I will take
I've loved you forever,
Just close your eyes (close your eyes)
Over and over I fall (over and over I fall)
And I will take(I will take you in my arms)
You in my arms
And hold you right where you belong (right where
Till the day my life is through
This I promise you baby
Just close your eyes
Every word I say is true
Holy shit!" Joey said in awe.
"I don't believe it. He can sing too," a stunned Chris said.
"Wow!" JC said. "He even hit every high note. . . "
"Perfectly," Lance completed JC's statement.
Everyone turned to Lance, and for the first time that day his smile was back. "Lance, is this what today was all about?" Justin asked.
A little embarrassed, Lance admitted, "When I went back to our room, I caught him singing in the shower. He had kept it a secret from me."
Looking back to the stage, Lance did not see any sign of Marc. A hand touched his arm. Lance turned, expecting to see Marc but found Lynn. Taking his arm, Lynn pulled him off to the side of the room. Seeing concern in her eyes, Lance asked, "Is there something wrong? Where's Marc?"
"Hun, I'm worried about Marc. He's been sick all afternoon," Lynn quietly said.
"Marc has a fear of singing in public. Whenever he tries, he gets very sick. He hasn't been able to keep anything down all day," Lynn confided.
"Is he all right?" Lance asked with growing concern.
"I don't know. He was looking awful pale tonight."
"Where is he?" Lance asked.
"In the men's room. Will you go check on him? I'm worried about him," Lynn said.
Marc was at the sink holding a cold, wet towel to his eyes when he heard someone come in. Lowering the towel Marc saw Lance's reflection in the mirror.
"Are you all right?" Lance asked with concern.
Turning around, Marc rested against the counter. "Yeah, I'll be all right," Marc said softly. Then, looking into Lance's eyes, he asked, "Are we going to be all right?"
"I hope so," Lance said as he started to move toward Marc.
Marc raised his hand stopping him abruptly. "We need to talk."
Lance lowered his eyes then asked, "Why didn't you ever tell me about your singing. . ."
"Problem?" Marc finished the question. "Fear, I guess. Fear that you would never understand. When I try to sing for someone, my body reacts in a not-too-pleasant way."
"If your fear of singing is so great, how did you manage tonight?" Lance asked.
"As great as my fear of singing is, my fear of losing you was greater," Marc said.
"I wish you would have told me about this."
"I tried. But you walked out. You wouldn't even give me a chance to explain this morning," Marc said with a little anger in his voice.
Looking at the floor, knowing Marc was right, all Lance could say was, "Sorry."
Going to Lance, Marc placed a finger under Lance's chin and raised it so they were looking eye to eye. "James, you know I love you. And I wouldn't consciously keep something from you. But there are things about me that I haven't yet discovered. And I want you to be there with me as I make those discoveries. "
"I do want to share those discoveries with you, Marc," Lance said.
"But what happened this morning can't happen again," Marc said firmly. "When you walked out, you broke my heart. And I don't think I can stand it, if it happens again."
"I'm sorry, Marc. I just was so mad at you, I don't know what to do."
"If you're mad at me yell, call me names, throw something. Just don't walk out on me. There is no way we can work anything out when you're not there," Marc said softly.
Lance sighed and said, "You're right. I should have stayed. I'm sorry for the way I acted today."
"James, I'm sorry for not telling you about this. I should have trusted in you. Trusted that you would understand," Marc said as he brushed James' cheek with the back of his hand. Leaning in, their lips met in a soft kiss.
Lance returned Marc' kiss then he felt Marc fall toward him. Quickly supporting Marc' weight, he broke the kiss asking, "Marc, what's wrong?"
"Woh! I'm dizzy," Marc said while holding on to Lance.
"Here, lean back against the counter," Lance said while helping Marc stand. "You haven't had anything to eat all day, have you?"
"Just breakfast," Marc answered.
"And you lost that, didn't you?"
"Yeah, several times."
"Do you think you could eat something now?" Lance asked caringly
"Yes, I'm starved," Marc said with a smile.
"Mom, do you know what's going on?" Justin asked.
"Yes, honey," Lynn said.
"Can you fill us in?" Chris asked.
"When Lance went back to his room he heard Marc singing in the shower."
"But Marc has always said he can't sing," said Chris.
"No, that's not right. He's always said he doesn't sing," corrected Joey.
"Marc doesn't sing because he gets violently sick when he does," Lynn told them.
"There's Marc and Lance now," said JC after spotting them come out of the rest room.
Marc and Lance came over to Lynn and the guys.
"How are you two doing?" Lynn asked.
Marc looked at Lance before answering, " We're ok."
"How are you feeling?" Lynn inquired of Marc.
"I'm alright," Marc said.
"You're not alright! Marc had a dizzy spell," Lance said. "He needs to get something to eat."
"Lance, see that he gets something to eat," Lynn said. "And you young man, take it easy the rest of the night."
"Yes, Mom," Marc said with a smile.
Rolling her eyes, Lynn slapped Marc on the arm, "Go!"
Joey was sitting with Justin, Lance, and Marc. Shaking his head, he said, "I can't believe you ate three chili dogs, an order of onion rings, fries and two chocolate milk shakes."
"I was hungry," Marc said. "Besides, I've seen you put away just as much."
Joey just grinned at Marc; he couldn't deny it.
"You feeling better?" Lance asked.
"Yeah, I'm almost back to normal," Marc said.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"Yeah," Marc said with a grin and bobbing eyebrows.
Blushing, Lance said, "I mean something to eat."
Marc looked out into the room and it looked like everyone was having a good time. Marc saw Pearlman looking at him again. A shiver ran up Marc's spine.
"What's wrong?" Justin asked.
"Pearlman. He's been watching me."
"He's probably trying to figure out how to sign you to a recording contract," said Joey with disgust.
"It won't happen. Besides he gives me the creeps," Marc said.
Beth had gotten Marc on to the dance floor. "Is everything alright now?" she asked.
"Yes. And thank you for your help and understanding," Marc said.
As they danced Beth could see Marc wanted to be somewhere else. "You know you are not the greatest date," Beth kidded.
"Sorry," Marc said softly as the music ended.
"Well I know how to fix it," Beth said then gave a nod to Ed.
"What's going on?" Marc asked,
"Watch," Beth said pointing toward the door.
Marc watched as all the hotel personnel were escorted from the room and Nsync security took up positions in front of all the doors to the room.
The lights dimmed and Ed, who was acting as DJ, announced, "Now to end our evening of fun, a set of slow dance music. So grab your partner, and get close and personal."
Lance was standing with JC and Justin talking when Marc walked up. "Great party, Marc," JC said.
"Thanks," Marc said. Then turning to Lance he held out his hand.
Lance looked at Marc's outstretched hand and asked, "What?"
"Dance with me, James." Marc said softly.
Looking around, Lance nervously said, "We can't. Everyone will know."
Smiling, Marc said, "Everyone in the room already knows. They're family. And secrets are hard to keep in this family."
Lance was still hesitating.
"James, trust me," Marc lovingly said.
Taking Marc's hand, their fingers interlaced as they walked to the middle of the dance floor. Marc pulled Lance to him, wrapping his arms around Lance.
Lance melted into Marc's embrace as they slowly moved to the music. The other couples would smile at Marc and Lance as they danced around them.
"I can't believe this," Lance whispered.
"What? That we are dancing?" Marc asked.
"No, that everyone knows."
"It's your fault. Everyone noticed your big smile after we got together."
"I was happy."
"All the time?"
"Yeah, all the time. You weren't any better."
"I know. I'm in love." Marc said tenderly. Looking around the room he had to chuckle.
"What's so funny?" Lance asked.
"Pearlman, his mouth is hanging wide open watching us."
"I don't think anyone filled him in on us."
"Think he'd have a heart attack if I kissed you right now?" Marc asked.
"Let's not find out. Now shut up and dance with me," Lance said while pulling Marc closer.
Returning to their suite, everyone quickly changed into t-shirts and shorts and gathered in the living room. Marc and Lance sat holding hands.
"That was fun," Chris said "I had my doubts about tonight but everything turned out great."
"Chris, who was the girl you were dancing with all night?" JC asked.
"Alice Burns, she works in lighting," Chris answered.
"Justin, when you lose your spotlight, just look to Chris. That's were it will be," Joey teased.
"Unlike someone I know who must have danced with every girl there. I found Alice interesting and I wanted to get to know her," Chris said.
"So I like to spread it around," Joey said. "Besides I only danced with about half the girls."
"I hope you kept tabs on who you danced with," Justin said. "By the way, when is the next party?"
Everyone looked at Marc for an answer.
"The next dance won't be until we get to Nevada, July 20th. I believe," Marc said.
"We don't have any free time until the 20th. That's almost a month!" Chris almost shouted.
"That's when the next dance is planned. Your next free day is the 4th of July," Marc informed them all.
"We've got the 4th off! Great!" Justin said excitedly.
"Marc, where will we be?" JC asked.
"Boston, I thought we could catch the fireworks. The Boston Pops will be performing," Marc said.
"Yeah! I've always wanted to see the Boston Pops, " said Chris.
"Marc, are you going to perform with the Pops?" Joey asked.
Smiling, Marc answered, "Yeah, I've been scheduled to perform with them."
"When?" Lance asked.
"Really? When did you find out?" Justin asked.
"Today. Lynn brought me the news. We had to confirm right away," Marc said.
"You're not going to have much time to prepare for a concert," JC pointed out.
"It's not going to be that bad. I'm to conduct three Sousa marches. I will have a rehearsal in the afternoon, then the concert that evening," Marc said.
"Will we be together for the fireworks?" Lance asked.
"You bet. I wouldn't want to be anyplace else," Marc said as he squeezed Lance's hand.
"Any other free time?" Chris asked.
"July 11th is a free day," Marc said.
"And?" Chris inquired.
"I'm working on something," Marc said with a smile.
"Good morning. St. John's Hospital, how may I help you?"
"Second floor nurses' station, please," Josh asked.
"Second floor nurses' station. Nurse Morgan speaking."
"Hi, beautiful. Can you talk?"
With a smile in her voice, Sara answered, "Josh! Yes, I can talk. I have only two patients tonight. How was your day?"
"The day started out shitty. Lance and Marc had a fight this morning."
"Oh, what happened?"
"Lance caught Marc singing in the shower this morning."
"What? Marc can't sing without getting sick."
"We know that now. Lance blew up at Marc thinking he had lied to him. He walked out on Marc."
"Yeah, and the rest of the day Lance wouldn't talk to anyone."
"Are they still apart?"
"No. Tonight at the party Marc sang a song to Lance."
"How was he able to do that? He always gets sick when he try's to sings in front of anyone."
"Tonight he managed to do it and not get sick. Marc sure has a beautiful voice."
"Are the two of them ok now?"
"Yeah, once Marc was able to talk to Lance they worked everything out."
"Good. Do me a favor and keep an eye on Marc. This has to have upset him and I'm worried what may happen."
"Sure. No problem. What the hell!!!"
"Josh, what's wrong?"
"It's Marc. He's screaming his head off."
"NO! GOD NO!" Marc was screaming over and over.
"Marc, what's wrong?" Lance kept asking.
Josh rushed into the room seeing Marc sitting up in bed with a horrified look on his face and Lance beside him trying to calm him. Josh could hear Sara calling his name over the phone. "Josh, what's going on?"
"It's Marc. He's sitting in bed screaming."
"Josh are his eyes open?"
"Yes. He's just looking straight ahead."
"Josh, he's having a panic attack. You need to get into his line of vision, get him to look at you."
"Ok," Josh said as he sat on the bed in front of Marc. Josh softly called Marc's name. "Marc. Marc, look at me."
Marc's eyes focused on Josh then he began to sob. " They're dead, they are all dead," Marc buried his face in Lance's shoulder and cried.
Lance held Marc tight, rubbing his back and rocking him. "Shush, you're all right. I'm right here. Nothings going to hurt you. I'm here for you babe."
Slowly Marc began to calm down. Lance's voice calmed him and his embrace made him feel safe.
"Josh, what's happening?" Sara asked.
"He's calming down. Lance is holding him," Josh told Sara.
"Can you get him to talk to me?"
"Yeah, I'll try," Josh said. Leaning in to Marc, he softly said, "Marc, can you talk to Sara?"
"Sara?" Marc said a little confused.
"She's on the phone. She wants to talk to you," Josh said as he offered the phone to Marc.
Taking the phone, Marc softly said, "Sara."
"Hi kid, having a bad dream?"
"Yeah. A real bad dream; no not a dream. A memory," Marc said shakily.
"Can you tell me what it was about?"
"Yeah, I think so," Marc said as he closed his eyes trying to remember every detail. "I was riding in a van I think. I was in the back seat with two other people. And there were a man and woman in the front seats. The people in the back seat were both male. One was about my age and the other sat between us was about five or six years old."
"Marc, do you recognize the people?" Sara asked.
"No. They have no faces," Marc answered.
"Marc, what were you doing?"
"I was laughing. Then I started to sing for them."
"Then what?" Sara probed.
"We were hit. A large truck hit us in the side. We lost control and the van began to roll over. I was thrown out of the van. I could see the van roll time after time down the hill. Then the truck hit it again. And it exploded. Oh god! I watched them burn to death," Marc sobbed.
"Marc, it was only a dream," Sara
told her brother.
"Ok, Marc, it wasn't a dream but a memory."
"Sara, call Bobby Lee and tell him everything I've just told you. This may be the first lead we have ever had."
"All right, I'll call him. You going to be all right?" Sara asked.
"Yeah, I think so," Marc said as
he looked around the room for the first time. With a slight laugh,
he added, "It looks like I woke everyone up. Right now I have plenty of
"Try to get some rest. Snuggle up to Lance and try to sleep," Sara suggested.
"I will. I'll call you tomorrow. Bye, sis," Marc said in closing.
Lynn was standing behind to Justin holding him tight. "Hun, did you have a memory?"
"Yeah, I think so. I know what happened to my family," Marc said shakily
Marc had dozed off and on for about an hour. Finally giving up, Marc slipped out of bed. Lance stirred at Marc's absence, "Where are you going?" Lance said sleepily.
"I want to get something to drink.
Go back to sleep, I'll be back in a bit," Marc said softly.
"Oh," Lance mumbled as he went back to sleep.
Putting on his robe, Marc went out to the kitchenette for a bottle of water. He found Lynn and Justin having a cup of coffee at the table.
"You doing alright honey?" Lynn asked Marc with concern.
"Yes, I'm ok. Just a little shaky still," Marc said as he joined them at the table with his bottle of water.
"Why do you think you had the memory now?" Justin asked.
"I'm not sure. I think it has something to do with my singing tonight. By forcing myself to sing I must have cracked the wall that hid this memory from me," Marc said.
Marc had been staring at the phone sitting on the table. Picking up the receiver, Marc started to dial a number. Lance, still half asleep, wandered out of the bedroom looking for Marc. Spotting Marc at the table, Lance came up behind Marc, wrapped his arms around Marc's neck and gave him a kiss on the ear. "Missed you," Lance said softly.
Marc rubbed the arms encircling his neck, and hearing the phone ring for the fifth time when it was picked up. "Hello," came the voice.
"Dad, it's me."
"Marc, how are you doing? Sara told me about your memory."
"I'm ok, I just needed to talk to you," Marc said softly.
"What about? The memory?"
"No. It's about the papers. If it's still ok with you, when the tour is over I want to sign them."
"Of course it's all right. There's no one I would like to have as a son than you Marc."
"I know that. I just needed to hear it again," Marc said with his voice cracking.
"Son, try to get some rest. And give Dr. Jacobs a call in the morning," Marc's dad told him.
"I will. I'll let you get back to sleep. Love you, dad. Bye."
"Love you too, son. Bye."
Everyone let Marc and Lance sleep in that morning. It was their rumbling tummies that woke them. When they went out to the living room, they found only a note:
We felt you both needed the rest. A limo will pick you up at one for the sound check. See you there.
J. J. J. C.
Date: Thu., 26 Jun 1999 16:32:11 -0500
Hi Angel Girl,
Could not find you on line. Yesterday was a ruff day. We had our first fight. A big misunderstanding. Boy colonel has a temper! He caught me singing in the shower. The only way I could get him to listen to me was at the Nsync party. I managed to sing `This I Promise You' to the colonel during the talent show. Josh was working on the arrangement the other day when I saw it for the first time. I think they will do it for their new album.
They're calling me to go get something to eat before the show. Will send part 2 later tonight.
Date: Thu., 26 Jun 1999 23:41:11 -0500
Hi Angel Girl,
I'm back. Everyone was pumped tonight. Great show. Management has given us the green light on the other free night get together'. They could see the difference in the whole crew. Hangovers do have a big effect on peoples work. Lynn is in town with some of the other bosses. Haven't had much time to talk to her. She is coming to Toronto with us, we will have the long bus ride to go over everything. Oh damn! Toronto is in Canada right? I have a big problem. Hate to cut this short but I need to talk to management right away.
Talk at you later,
A sleepy eyed Lance came into the living room, "Has anyone seen Marc? He was on the computer when I dozed off."
"He went to talk to Pete and Lynn about twenty minutes ago," JC said.
Just then, the door opened and Marc and Lynn walked in. "Oh good you're all still up," Marc said. Going over to Lance, Marc took his hand and led Lance off to the corner of the room. He whispered something to Lance. Lance's reacted with a, "Marc, no!"
Coming back to the guys still holding Lance's hand, Marc made his announcement. "Guys, I'm going to be leaving the tour for a few days."
"What! Why?" Joey asked.
"I can't travel with you to Toronto. Toronto is in Canada, and I don't have the necessary proof of citizenship to cross the boarder," Marc told them.
"Proof?" Justin asked.
"I don't have a birth certificate. I can't prove I was born in the US," Marc told them.
"How soon will you be leaving us?" Joey asked.
"Management has arranged for me to take a flight to Baltimore tomorrow night at 7:30," Marc answered.
"I don't like you going on ahead alone," Lance stated.
"He won't be alone. I'll be going with him," Lynn said.
"Lucky you. Three days in Baltimore while we are on the bus for two solid days," Chris said.
The next day Marc spent all his time with Lance and the guys. He went with them to the interviews and the meet and greet. Marc sat in the audience during the sound check. And joined them for supper. He was sitting talking with the guys when security informed him the limo was here. Lynn and Marc said their good byes to Chris, Joey, and JC. Justin and Lance walked them out to their limo.
Marc gave Justin a hug and softly said, "See you in four days, little bro. Keep an eye on my guy for me."
"I will. Love you, big brother." Justin whispered.
Turning to Lance, Marc could see his moist eyes. Pulling Lance into a hug, Marc whispered, "Now don't you start. It's only a few days. Just remember how much I love you."
"I just wish I could give you a kiss," Lance managed to say.
"I know what you mean. But it's too risky. I love you, James," Marc said with one final squeeze.
"I love you too, Marc," Lance said as they broke their embrace.
As Marc was climbing into the limo he said, "Lance, give me a call before you head out for Toronto."
They arrived just as the plane was boarding. Taking their seats, Marc quickly buckled himself in tight. As the plane picked up speed for take off, Marc grabbed the armrest and held on tight.
Seeing Marc, Lynn leaned in and asked, "Marc, this wouldn't by any chance be your first flight?"
Marc looked at Lynn with big eyes and nodded.
Patting Marc's hand, Lynn said with a smile, "Flying is nothing to worry about. You just have to remember the first rule of flying. Don't hold your breath. You must breath during the flight."
Marc was in his hotel room waiting for Lance to call. Just before midnight, his cell rang. "Hello, James?"
"No this is not James," Chris said. "His phone privileges have been taken away because he messed up twice tonight."
Lance could be heard in the background, "Chris, stop fooling around and give me my phone back."
Marc was chuckling when Lance came on the line. "Hi, Marc," Lance said while breathing hard.
"Oh, just what I've been waiting for a heavy breather" Marc said. "Kinky."
The next morning Marc and Lynn had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. It was a working breakfast, going over schedules and correspondence. Two hours later, they had finished their meeting and were crossing the lobby heading to the elevators.
"Lynn! Lynn," a lady across the Lobby called.
Lynn turned to see who was calling her name. Then her face lit up, "Paula! What are you doing in Baltimore?"
Paula came over to Lynn and Marc, followed by a rather good-looking younger man. Exchanging hugs, the two starting talking a mile-a- minute.
Feeling a little awkward with not being introduced, Marc smiled at the new arrival. "Hi, my name is Marc, Marc Newman," Marc said while offering his hand to the stranger.
"Hi Marc. My name is Howie, Howie Dorough," the young man said as he shook Marc's hand.
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