Hi everybody (or, those of you who are still keeping up with this story)

It’s been about six months since I last updated MSR and for anyone I left hanging, I’m sorry. My RL has a tendency to get in the way sometimes and the fanfic gets pushed onto the backburner. Again, I’m sorry, but I should be around now more often.

I’ll keep this opening very brief. Big thank you’s to Sarah, Steph, Tony (who writes the fabulous Maze of Moments) and Val for the read-throughs and friendship. And of course, this chapter is for B, who keeps me grounded and keeps me laughing. My biggest supporter—thank you for all the encouragement you’ve given me. I’ll never be able to repay you back.

I have a site where I usually post the chapters of MSR ahead of time: Sweetheart Stories. In about a week, I’ll be posting another chapter of MSR that will not be posted on Nifty. It’s called, “This Mess We’re In” and it revolves around Cynthia/JC while they stay at Stephen’s apartment. For apparent reasons, it will not be sent to Nifty, so if you’d like to read that, please visit the site :)

Disclaimer: This is not true. Lance is now known as ‘Spance’ in my world :) You must be of age to read this story (18 or 21 depending on where you live). If it’s illegal to do so, then don’t. I don’t know any of the guys from *NSYNC or their sexualities. I’m writing this for my own fun and not for profit. Please don’t sue me.

If anyone decided to keep reading, I’d love to hear what you thought about this chapter. Feedback is welcomed at blissful_confusion@yahoo.com. Thanks!

My Surprise Romance

Chapter 56


©2002 Gabriella Morrison

There was something that changed between Lance and I that night. I couldn’t sort out what was different, but it was there, hanging between us like an invisible curtain.

It wasn’t bad, not by any means. If anything, it was a welcome change from the angst and strife we had gone through only a few hours before. As we settled into bed together, Lance rested his head on my chest and looked up at me, his green eyes wide and happy.

“Love you,” he said simply, before stretching his neck upwards and allowing our lips to touch. Holding back a sigh of happiness, I loosely wrapped my arms around his waist, falling into the kiss as though it were our last.

Lance pulled away from me slightly, breaking our deep kiss, but allowing our lips to brush against each other. “Tighter,” he whispered, staring into my eyes as he shifted his body upwards. “Hold me tighter.”

I did as he asked and an ear-to-ear smile stretched across Lance’s mouth. He rested his head backwards and the pleasant scratchiness of his hair rubbed against my skin. Our sighs mingled together, while our eyelids shut and we both fell fast asleep.


I woke up the next morning, somewhat abruptly, thanks to the persistent ring of the telephone and the sound of Lance’s voice answering the call with a groggy, “Hello?”

Choosing to ignore everything around me, I basked in my partial drowsiness rather than to wake up and face reality. Early morning phone calls are never good news. Stretching my limbs against the cool sheets, I rolled away from Lance and buried my face in my pillow.

Through the fogginess of my sleep, I heard Lance talking quietly. He kept his voice so low; I could barely hear him. A few minutes passed and he was still talking.

“Today? Are you sure you can’t cover for me today?” I heard him ask, only to sigh dejectedly when he got his answer. “Oh. Okay. Film crews. Yeah. I just...yeah. I forgot. I’ll see you in an hour or so. Bye.”

Well, that didn’t sound good.

I heard as Lance quietly set the receiver down, before leaning over and touching my shoulder.


Keeping my eyes closed, I listened as Lance said my name over and over and stifled a giggle. I let out a light snore, still pretending to be asleep. This was kind of fun.

“Stephen? Stephen?” He shook me a little. “Hey...wake up already.” I bit the inside of my cheeks trying not to smile, only to scream out in shock when Lance leaned over and blew a raspberry on the back of my neck.

Shocked by the feeling, I sat up with a jolt and screamed bloody murder.

“Ahhh!!” Goosebumps had broken out across my skin and I lightly punched my boyfriend on his shoulder. “You dork!” I sneered, before looking at Lance. He was kneeling next to me and giggling like a madman behind his hands.

“That was mean.” Shooting a mock glare in my boyfriend’s direction, I rubbed the back of my neck, where Lance’s lips had been only a few seconds ago. “And you woke me up.”

“But that was my intention,” Lance said coyly as he crawled over to where I lay. He straddled my hips and ran a finger down my chest. “To wake you up.” Smiling, he leaned forward and planted a kiss squarely on my forehead, before moving towards my mouth.

“Morning,” he murmured as he ran his fingers through my hair. “How’d you sleep?”

“Pretty good,” I answered nonchalantly, before asking, “So, who called?” Gently, I poked Lance in the ribs as I waited for an answer.

I watched as the expression on Lance’s face turned to one of discomfort. “Er...” He lazily traced a circle around my nipple causing me to sigh happily—although I knew that his sign of affection was more of a cover up for the news he was about to break.

“Well, you know about my company—FreeLance—right?”


“Um. Well. Guess who has to go in today and look over some of Meredith’s head shots and paperwork?” Lance looked sick—almost as thought work equaled eternal damnation.

“Hmm.” I pretended to think. “Lemme guess—Justin?” I said teasingly. “I mean, he seems like a busy guy.”

Lance scowled at my remark. “Yeah—busy getting whipped by his boyfriend,” he muttered under his breath—or at least that’s what I thought he said. His teeth seemed to be clenched together.

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing,” Lance said with a quick shake of his head, as though he was erasing any sort of unpleasant thoughts from his mind. “But, Stephen—I gotta go to the office downtown today. I completely forgot about everything.”

“Because of me?” I asked, sliding my fingers around the back of his neck before pulling Lance closer towards me.

“Of course,” Lance laughed as his face hovered inches above mine. “Do you think if I was alone, I’d forget about a meeting at FreeLance? Normally, I remember everything.” He tapped his head. “This brain is business orientated, baby.”

We laughed at his little joke and we stared into each other's eyes for a few more seconds, before our mouths instinctively met again. But this time, we shared a passionate kiss. You know, the kind that causes you to forget about your duties and responsibilities and makes you want to stay in bed all day long instead.

Rolling around on the mattress and over the bulk of the sheets, I sighed as Lance brushed his lips over my throat. He moved a little lower, placing a soft kiss at the hollow of my neck, while I ran my hands through his hair, tangling the strands between my fingers. With a grin, Lance slid his hands along my torso before working his thumbs under the elastic of my boxer shorts.

I sighed again as Lance kissed a path down the center of my chest, moving lower and lower until he reached my navel. My boxers were halfway off my body, but not enough to expose my growing hardness. I swallowed, anticipating what he was about to do next. Unlike yesterday, when I had pushed Lance away, I had absolutely no qualms with him seducing me now.

I felt as Lance blew against my skin, before alternating between kissing and licking my hipbone. I didn’t look down; instead I chose to stare at the ceiling and concentrate on the sensations coursing throughout my body.

But soon enough Lance stopped, forcing me to look downwards and when our eyes met, I found my boyfriend starting back up at me with expectant eyes. Smirking, I watched as Lance licked his lips before running the tip of his tongue horizontally across my lower stomach. It was almost as though he was silently asking me, ‘no one does this as good as me—right?’

I think my appreciative moan answered that question.

He was about to pull my boxers completely off when the phone suddenly rang. It’s chime sounded like a church bell. The interruption was almost as though someone wanted to bother us.

‘Ahhh, sexual frustration,’ I thought as the ringing echoed through the house. ‘How I didn’t miss you.’

“Ignore it,” Lance murmured as tugged on my boxers, drawing the fabric lower and freeing my painfully trapped erection. With a sly grin, Lance gently licked around the head of my erection, before speaking once more. “Just ignore it.”

I closed my eyes, sinking back into the pillows and following his advice. I tried my best to drown out the sound of the still-ringing phone.

I felt Lance’s lips encircle me, and I realized how much I missed him physically. I thought about yesterday and how I had turned him away and I wondered if I had been suffering from a lapse in sanity. My thoughts were quickly pushed to the side as Lance moved his mouth lower, while I inadvertently arched my hips upward. I just couldn’t help myself.

The phone stopped ringing and the answering machine kicked on. There was something oddly erotic about the sound of Lance’s pre-taped voice echoing through the house, while presently his mouth was, well...full.

“Stephen? Lance?” It was a girl’s voice and it sounded awfully familiar.

Lance reached up and brushed his fingers across my stomach, while taking a little more of my length down his throat. The feeling was incredible, to say the least. Panting, I slid my fingers through his hair, urging him on to continue with what he was doing.

“Damnit, you two!! I know you’re there! Stop smooching and pick up already. It’s Cynthia.”

I closed my eyes and let out a groan that didn’t pertain to what Lance was doing to me. I guess I we could’ve ignored her message and pretended that Cynthia didn’t exist at that moment, but it was too late. Lance pulled off my erection and positioned himself into a kneeling position between my legs.

“I’m gonna kill her,” Lance muttered under his breath as he sat on his calves and ran his hands through his wayward hair. “K-I-L-L. Kill.”

“You and me both,” I said through clenched teeth before rolling towards the phone that was sitting on the nightstand. Just as I was about to pick up the receiver, I heard Cynthia exclaim, “Talk to you later!” This was followed by a click as the answering machine shut off, causing the house to grow silent once more.

Avoiding each other’s eyes, I heard as Lance let out a maddening scream of frustration.

“Your cousin has the worst timing!” Lance complained as he crawled back to my side. “Do you know how unsexy it is to hear her voice while I was down there?” He rested his head on my shoulder. “She’s the biggest mood killer—but what I want to know, is how JC can have sex with her?”

I slammed my hands over my ears, accidentally bumping Lance in the chin as I did so. “Please, please, please—” I looked at Lance pointedly. “Do not mention anything about my cousin having sex again. It’s bad enough I heard her voice when you were...” I coughed and blushed. “Down, um...”

The expression on Lance’s face changed from perturbed to mischievous, as he leaned over and licked at my ear. I shivered in response. “Down where, Stephen?” he asked flirtatiously. “What was I licking?”

I laughed uneasily as Lance nuzzled my neck and ran a hand over my chest. “You just want me to hear me talk dirty,” I bantered.

“Uh huh,” Lance agreed, his green eyes wildly innocent as he licked at my earlobe once more. “And now...” He looked over at his alarm clock. “If you excuse me, Stephen—” He began to climb off the bed. “I have to get ready for work.”

“Work?!” I exclaimed in disbelief. “You’re gonna leave me like this?” I pointed to my nudity, which caused Lance to laugh.

“Uh huh,” he said as he walked to the door. “Cause then when I get home...well,” He arched an eyebrow seductively at me. “Let’s just say tonight won’t be boring.”

And before I could answer, Lance simply blew a kiss in my direction and walked out of the room.

With a grunt, I grabbed Lance’s pillow, threw it over my face and let out a muffled scream of frustration. I guess I could have joined Lance in the shower if I really wanted to finish, but really, why ruin the anticipation for later that night? It would give me something to look forward to.


As Lance got himself ready for work, I decided to play the role of the good boyfriend and make Lance some breakfast. For a split second, I wondered if doing that would be a little too motherly, but I quickly decided it wouldn’t be, and continued the walk down Lance’s spiral staircase. I did consider sliding down the banister again, but I looked at my forearm and saw the huge bruise from my crash landing and decided against that as well.

I headed for the kitchen, thinking about what I could whip up for Lance. Admittedly, I can cook. I’m not bad at it—I’m far from gourmet—but I can make an edible dinner of chicken and vegetables. After all, I did grow up in a family where my mom was constantly at work, leaving Natalie to tug at the hem of my shirt, asking me what was for supper.

I froze in mid-step, paralyzed by the thought of my sister. Good God. I hadn’t spoken to her in days.

‘Good way of putting your lovelife in front of your own sister,’ I criticized myself silently as I walked to Lance’s refrigerator. I mentally noted to give her a ring before I left Mississippi. Maybe if I were brave enough to fly, I’d take a quick detour to Wisconsin before heading back home.

Weaving around the island in the center of the kitchen, I opened up Lance’s refrigerator, only to be greeted by the sight of spoiled vegetables and expired milk. Wrinkling my nose at the weird smell, I slammed the door shut and turned my attention to the cupboards. He had to have something edible in there—right?


Searching frantically, I found nothing except for a few boxes of pasta, and honestly, who wants to eat that at nine a.m.?

I leaned against the counter in defeat, until I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Looking over, I noticed an unopened box of moon pies sitting on top of the island. A stream of sunlight beamed through the windows and reflected off the box, almost as though it was a sign from heaven above.

‘Moonpies’, I thought, picking up the box and nodding my head as though I were in deep thought. I checked the expiration date on the side of the box: May 2002. Sure they were sweet, but in my moments of desperation and hunger, a moon pie was a good substitute for real food. And if you warmed them up in the microwave, they tasted even better.

Ripping the tab off the box, I pulled out one of the sticky desserts and began to search around the kitchen for a plate.


“Stephen?” I heard the sound of Lance’s voice echoing from upstairs, before slowly growing louder and louder in tone. It sounded like he was coming downstairs. “Stephen? Are you in the kitchen?”

“Yeah,” I called back just as the microwave beeped. “I’m making you breakfast!”

There was a pause. “Breakfast?” The door swung open and Lance waltzed into the kitchen, looking handsome in dress slacks, a long sleeved shirt and a tie. For some reason, seeing his tie just set me off and it took all of my composure to not to think about tying Lance’s wrists to the headboard and—

“Stephen?” The sound of Lance’s voice brought me back to reality. Sensing my state of loopiness, he reached out to touch me under my chin. He tilted up my face so he could look into my eyes.

“You okay?”

By this time, I was blushing furiously, trying to push all these...images out of my mind. After all, I was wearing just my boxers and that made matters pretty evident.

I took a few steps backwards and managed to stammer out, “I-I’m fine.” Eyes darting from left to right; I grabbed for the half empty box of moon pies, and placed over the front of my boxers. “Just fine. I-I made you breakfast.”

Lance smiled, although I noticed his eyes drifted to the box that was strategically placed in front of me. “Moon pies?” he asked curiously, raising an eyebrow. “Is that my breakfast?”

I nodded. “Yeah. Moon pies.” And still holding the box in front of me, I walked to the microwave, popped open the door and presented Lance with a plate.

“Here. Breakfast. Not like your mom makes, but...” I tried not to laugh, as the idea of serving moon pies for a meal suddenly seemed hilarious to me. “Um...” I looked down at the plate in my hands, only to find that the chocolate coating had melted everywhere.

Lance took the plate from my hands and then looked at me, with a skeptical look. He walked towards a drawer, opened it up and pulled out a fork. He cut one of the pies and then took a bite.

“Mmmmm.” Lance smiled as he cut another piece off. “Yummy.” Meticulously, he chewed and then swallowed, before cutting another piece of the pie away. “Best breakfast ever. Thanks, Stephen. I’ve never had them warmed up before.”

I blushed some more, knowing clear well that Lance was lying just to make me happy. I could tell by the look on his face and the way he swallowed after each bite, that he was forcing himself to eat.

“Lance...you. Uh.” I was feeling pretty stupid by now. “You don’t have to eat those to appease me or anything.” With a grin, Lance set the plate down on the island and walked towards me.

“I know,” he said softly, his eyes humorous. “But it was nice of you to do that. I appreciate it.” Lance then leaned forward kissed me. Much to my enjoyment, his lips were sticky sweet, with traces of marshmallow and chocolate still on his kiss. When we parted, he smacked his lips noisily.

“Hey, Stephen?”


“You got anything to drink?”

If my blush had faded slightly while we kissed, it definitely came back with a vengeance.

“Um...” I shuffled my weight from one foot to the other. “No.”

I watched as Lance’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “No?! Ack!” He made a sound, almost as though he was clearing his throat. “You gotta be kidding me! What about some milk?!” He spun around and began to head towards the refrigerator.

“From August?” I said meekly as he opened the door, only to close it in defeat when he realized what I said.

“Oh great.” He cleared his throat again and sighed. “Oh well. Guess I’ll have to wash down those moon pies with some water.” Lance walked to the sink and turned it on, before picking up the spray nozzle and shooting the water directly in his mouth.

I burst out laughing as Lance shut the faucet off and turned around. “What’s so funny?” he asked innocently, brushing the small droplets of water off his tie. “Haven’t you ever seen someone drink out of the nozzle before?”

I would have answered him, but I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. There were new things that I learned about Lance everyday and I loved each one of them. I wondered if he noticed little things like that about me, and even if he did, would he tell me? Or would he keep them to himself as little reminders of why he loved me?

Wiping tears away from my eyes, I just shook my head and laughed some more. “Whatever, Lance,” I said as I looked at the clock. “You gotta get going, mister” I punctuated my remark with a slap on the ass.

“Hey!” he yelped, looking over his shoulder as I pushed him out of the kitchen. “Save it for the bedroom!”

“Yeah, yeah,” I laughed. “Just get to work. I can’t wait to be alone.”

This was the farthest thing from the truth. As Lance picked up his tote bag and slung the strap over his shoulder, my mind was about to go crazy. What the hell was I going to do alone?

Lance rolled his eyes. “Uh huh...you’re probably gonna be calling and leaving voice mail like crazy, right?”

“You got it.”

We laughed as we walked into the hallway. Turning to me, Lance studied my face before reaching up. “You gonna be okay by yourself?” he asked as he caressed my cheek with his thumb.

I rolled my eyes. “Of course I’ll be fine. I got money, I can order a pizza or something. And you know, there’s cable. And your drawers to snoop around in, heh heh heh,” I added mischievously as Lance lightly smacked me in the face.

“You’re not gonna find anything,” he taunted as he placed his hand on the doorknob. “I keep all my porn in Orlando.”

“Bleh,” I shot back. “You’re no fun.” I stuck my tongue out at him.

Lance surprised me by quickly leaning forward, taking my tongue between his lips and pulling me into a kiss. We stayed like that for a few seconds, my arms wrapping around his torso and bringing his body closer to mine. There was something so comforting about the way Lance felt in my arms, and for a second, I refused to let him go. I wanted a few more seconds with him.

Reluctantly we parted, catching our breath as we stood there when Lance suddenly looked down between us and smirked.

“Why, hello there,” he said seductively, arching an eyebrow. I looked down and saw that the opening in my boxer shorts had parted and that I was, er, sticking out.

“Whoa!” I exclaimed as I modestly covered up the gap with my hands. Lance just rolled his eyes.

“Since when did you become a prude?” he laughed, before leaning in for another quick kiss. “I’ll be home as soon as I can, Stephen.” He opened the door and I hung back in the shadows, not wanting to be seen in case someone from the neighborhood passed by.


Lance gave me another smile, this one slightly sad before walking down the steps and down the long walkway towards his garage.

I closed the door and locked up. I looked around the hallway and blinked a few times, before hearing the sound of an engine start up. A few seconds later, I heard the sound of tires rolling against gravel and then...silence.

I was alone.


A few hours later, I was sprawled across Lance’s sofa, remote control in hand. I flipped through the numerous channels that spanned into the three hundreds, hoping there would be something decent to watch.

“Ugh,” I muttered under my breath. “I can’t believe he has all these channels and there’s nothing on.” I finally settled on an old repeat of Three’s Company before placing the remote on the cushion next to me. Pulling myself into a sitting position, I eyed the pizza box that sat on the coffee table in front of me. I already had eaten half of the medium-sized pizza out of sheer boredom and for the millionth time that afternoon, I wished that Lance would get his ass home already. Occasionally, my mind would drift to what Lance had started that morning and my body would react accordingly.

I looked at the screen just in time to see Chrissy, acting in her normally ditzy fashion, while wearing nothing but a bikini top. I let out a sigh of relief as that took care of any physical problems I was having.

I looked around at my luxurious surroundings. How many people would kill to be where I was at that moment? I ran my fingertips over his expensive couch with disinterest. Sure, Lance’s mansion was wonderful and beautiful and nice, but being alone in it? Not so nice. I was so bored—so very, very bored.

Sighing, I leaned forward and reached for the pizza box, flipping the lid open and grabbing another cold slice of pizza. ‘Mmm, yummy,’ I thought sarcastically. I guess I could have gotten up and warmed the pizza in the microwave, but why bother?

I chewed thoughtfully before suddenly remembering the phone call from that morning. ‘Cynthia!’ I thought as a feeling of relief washed over me. I could call Cynthia. Sure, I’d have to listen to her ramble on and on about make up and her band and all that junk, but at least I wouldn’t be bored, right?


I quickly finished off my slice of pizza and picked up the cordless phone. It was more high tech than any other cordless phone I had ever seen, loaded with numerous buttons that all looked the same. My head swam. I just wanted to make a phone call, damnit.

A few seconds passed before I located the ‘on’ button and heard the reassuring hum of the dial tone. I punched in the area code and phone number for my apartment (where I hoped Cynthia was still staying) and listened to three rings before someone picked up.


My face screwed up in confusion as the groggy voice of a man came through the line. I blinked once, not sure what to say.

I must have dialed the wrong number.

“Sorry,” I said hastily. I knew that the person on the other end of the line couldn’t see me, but misdialed numbers always caused me to blush. “Wrong number.”

“S’kay,” the man replied and we both hung up.

I hit the on/off button twice and redialed my phone number; meticulously hitting all the numbers and saying them out loud as my fingertips hit them. I listened to the ringing of the phone, and the person picked up after two rings this time.


My throat went dry. It was the same voice from before. What the hell was a guy doing answering my phone?

“Hello?” I repeated, this time more intently as my heartbeat sped up. All sorts of scenarios popped into my mind; maybe someone had broken in to my apartment and tied up Cynthia? Nah, I thought, Cynthia would have beaten the intruder up before he could have even touched her. And besides, why would they answer my telephone if they were robbing me?

“Who is this?” The person snapped back crankily as though I had just wakened him up.

“Who is this?” I shot back, as my mood grew sour.

“This is Josh. Who the hell are you?”

I was about to respond with a snippy retort when the name hit me: Josh. Josh. Joshua. JC.

“JC?” I asked questioningly, flopping back onto the couch and feeling a tiny bit relieved. “Is that you?”

There was an uncomfortable silence on the other end of the line. And then I heard, “Oops.”

‘Oops?’ What the hell kind of answer was ‘oops’?! I rubbed my temples and felt the start of a headache coming on. “Josh—is my cousin around?”




I sighed. “Yes. This is Stephen. What are you doing at my apartment? And where is Cynthia?”

I suddenly heard a scream in the background. “I told you not to answer the phone!” a girl shrieked, her voice growing louder as she approached the phone. “Didn’t I tell you not to pick up the phone? God!” It almost sounded like they were wrestling, as a wild burst of static crackled into my ear. Wincing at the sound, the falsely pleasant voice of my cousin suddenly came through the connection.

“Stevie? Is that you? Finally! I’ve been trying to reach you for ages already! I called Lance’s parents house and you never called me back.” She was talking rapidly and I could barely make out what she was saying. I’ve known my cousin long enough to know that she talked in that manner only when she was nervous. “And then I called Diane back and she gave me the number of Lance’s house and I called this morning—”

“I know,” I said dryly. “Thanks a lot.”

I could practically hear her smirk from thousands of miles away. “Oh? Did I interrupt something?”

“Shut up,” I sighed, running a hand through my wayward hair. “Cynthia—what is JC doing at my apartment?”

Cynthia shut up then, almost as though she was weighing lies and the truth in her head, thinking about which one would be safer to tell me.

“Um...” She coughed. “He came to visit me?”

“You know, Cynth. You’d be more convincing if your voice didn’t turn up at the end of the sentence.” I closed my eyes. “Just tell me the truth and I’ll only be fifty percent angry at you.”

She coughed nervously again. “Well...Stevie...I—I kinda invited him over—Wait a second. Where’s Lance?” Cynthia asked suspiciously, as though she was a private detective trying to uncover a case.

“He’s at FreeLance. He left me alone,” I said, before switching back to original subject. “Go on, Cynthia.”

“Well,” she began slowly. “JC mentioned that he was on break and that this was his last weekend before the tour started up, and well...” She paused. “I wanted to see him before every hoochie tries to make a pass at him on tour. You can’t blame me for wanting to see my boyfriend, right?”

“Right,” I answered wearily, rubbing harder at my temples. I could only guess what came of JC’s visit and I didn’t like that one bit. “But Cynthia? Please, please, please tell me you didn’t—” I swallowed my words.

“What, Stevie?”

I made a horrible face that reflected back at me from the glass tabletop. “You didn’t have...er, sex. In my bed.” I could barely get the words out but once I said them, images of JC and Cynthia together filled my mind. I shuddered, positive that I was going to be in dire need of therapy when I arrived back home.

I waited for a few seconds, resting my elbows on my knees only to be rewarded with silence from the other end of the line.

“Cynthia?” I swallowed. I felt sick. My bed. “I’m waiting for an answer.”

“Stevie, I’ll—” She paused. “I’ll buy you some new sheets! How about that? And, um, my band is playing a gig soon, so I’ll get you a new mattress—”

I cut Cynthia off with a groan. Oh God, she had sex in my bed. I would strangle Cynthia when I got back to New York. Strangle. Murder. Kill.

Just as I was about to let loose a barrage of obscenities, a loud beeping noise caught my attention.

“Cynthia?” I asked cautiously. “Was that you?”

“What was me?”

“That beeping.”

She made a clucking sound with her teeth. “I didn’t hear any beeping. Stevie, are you sure you’re not going insane?”

“Insane,” I growled under my breath. “If I go insane it’s going to be your fa—”


Confused, I looked at the face of the cordless phone and saw a small light flashing on and off. At first I thought the battery was dead, but then I noticed that little light next to the cartoon battery symbol was still illuminating brightly. Another thought entered my mind—maybe Lance had call waiting.

I decided to take a gamble. “Cynthia?” I said. “I think someone’s on the other line. If I disconnect you, I’ll call you back.”

I heard her sigh. “Yeah, so you can ream me out some more? Thanks, Stevie—”

Rolling my eyes at Cynthia’s tirade (how could she make me feel as though I was the wrong one? She was the one who had sex in my bed. That girl amazed me at times), I looked at the keypad once more and hit the ‘flash’ button.


“Is that you Stephen?”

A grin formed on my face at the sound of Lance’s voice, toned down a few notches and making him sound as though he were working as a phone sex operator. “I don’t know,” I answered coyly, settling back on the couch. I tried to suppress the smile on my face, trying to stay as calm as Lance sounded. “It all depends on who you’re looking for.”

I had heard this side of Lance before when he had been in Japan. We had been millions of miles apart and our conversations reverted to, well, subjects of that manner, ifyouknowwhatImean—nudgenudgewinkwink.

“I’m lookin’ for you, Stephen,” Lance answered with a smile. “So, what'cha doin’?”

“Thinking about you.”

“Really?” He let out a short laugh. “Isn’t that funny? I’m doing the same thing myself.” Pausing for a second, Lance then spoke again. “You don’t happen to be naked, do you?”

“Naked!?!” I exclaimed. I was thankful that I didn’t have anything in my mouth, because I would have certainly spit it all over the floor.

Lance sighed dejectedly. “Well...I guess you’re not. Damn. There goes the idea of my fantasy coming true.” He laughed. “So what are you doing Stephen? Besides thinking of me, of course.”

I grinned. “Nothing really. In fact, I’m kinda bored—oh, wait, Cynthia’s on the other line. And if you want me to pay for the long distance charges, I will.”

Lance scoffed. “Are you kidding me? You didn’t just say that, did you?”

“Well, you know, I’ve been on the phone with her for—” I looked at the TV screen, just in time to see the closing Three’s Company credits roll over the screen. “—About the past half hour or so. Actually, I had to call her twice. Guess who’s at my apartment with her?”

“Hmmm.” I could hear the sound of rustling papers and I closed my eyes, trying to imagine what my boyfriend was doing. Paper work, maybe? Or going through schedules and forms for the rest of the tour? Suddenly, I wished I had asked Lance if I could have tagged along with him. Not only was I bored, but also I was really lonely.

“Let me guess,” Lance finally said after an extended pause. “JC?”

I blinked in disbelief. “How did you know?”

“Because Chris called me this morning and told me that JC was in New York with Cynthia.” Lance chuckled. “He was bitching about how for a group of best friends, the five of us are scattered all over the country.”

I laughed. “How is Chris, anyway?”

“Oh he’s good,” Lance said. “He’s recovering well with the therapy for his shoulder and stuff, but he’s going insane from boredom.”

“Yeah? Well, you should call him and tell him to come over here then,” I said dryly. “Lance, I love your house, but I’m bored out of my mind. I hate to moan and whine, but—” I blushed at how needy I sounded. “I miss you. And I have none of my art supplies to boot.”

I listened to the sound of rustling papers before Lance spoke. “I’m sorry, Stephen. I really am,” he said apologetically. “I didn’t even want to come in today, but I had to. And if I didn’t want to raise suspicion, I would have brought you along, but they’re taping me in about a half hour for some kind of ‘Home for the Holidays’ special.”

“Taping you?”

“Yeah. They want to see me at work or something,” Lance muttered impatiently. “Goddamn it! Where the hell did I put Meredith’s press schedule?”

Sensing the tension in Lance’s voice, I cringed at how thoughtless and whiny I was being at the moment. I’m sure the last thing he needed was me, bemoaning my boredom. Softly clearing my throat, I interrupted his ranting.

“Hey Lance? I think I’m gonna go now, okay?”

“Why?” The rustling stopped. “Where are you going?”

“Nowhere. I just think I’m more of a distraction than a help right now.”

“No!” Lance exclaimed, almost desperately. “Hey, Stephen, I called you. I didn’t mean to snap or anything—it’s just that I keep forgetting where I put things and I keep getting all confused.” He let out a stilted laugh. “See what you do to me?” Lance asked as his voice lowered a few notches. “I keep thinking of you naked and everything else disappears from my mind.”

“Wait until you get home,” I said teasingly. “Just wait.”

“Oh? And what’s going to happen when I get home, huh?” Lance purred into the phone. I swallowed, unable to answer. The image of my boyfriend kneeling in front of me suddenly flashed through my mind causing my throat to go dry. “You still there? Stephen?”

“I’m here,” I managed to croak out. “Just, uh...you know, waiting until you get home.”

“Mmmmm,” Lance sighed. “What an incentive for me to get this all this stuff done and—” His voice faded out for a second and then came back again. “—In the hot tub.” I heard him grunt a little. “Stephen? Could you hold on? I’m getting a call on the other line.”

“Okay.” I nodded. “How do I get back to Cynthia?”

“You on the cordless?”


“Hit the button marked ‘pause two’,” Lance instructed. “And when I come back from my call, you should hear two beeps. Hit pause two again and you’ll be able to talk to me.”

There was a faint throbbing in my temples as I took this information in. “Okay.” Looking at the keypad, I found the button Lance was talking about and pressed it before gingerly placing the phone next to my ear.


“Jesus!” she shrieked, obviously agitated that I had kept her on hold for so long. “What the hell, Stevie? Who was on the other line—Lannnnnce?” She drew out his name in a teasing fashion. “What were you two doing? Having phone sex or something?”

I could hear JC saying, “EWWWWWW!” in the background, almost as though he was two years old. I rolled my eyes.

“Was that JC?”

“Of course it is!” Cynthia answered indignantly. “Who else would be in the bed with me? What kind of girl do you think I am Stevie? I’m with JC—of course he’s gonna be the guy in bed with me!”

“Cynthia, Cynthia,” I said calmly as I forced the image of Cynthia and JC out of my memory. “I wasn’t insinuating anything. Just observing. And besides, JC’s ‘ewwww’ was loud enough for me to hear down here.”

“Heh,” she snickered. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. JC was being pretty loud.” I heard the sound of a hand slapping flesh, followed by JC yelling, “Ouch! Cynthia! I’m gonna get you for that!”

I groaned inwardly and thought of the workout my bed was getting. My poor bed.

“Not now!” she screeched into the phone, blowing out my eardrums in the process. She must have placed her hand over the mouthpiece, because the next thing I heard (muffled, of course) was, “Later. When I’m off the phone with Stevie. And be prepared, because you’ve been baddddd, JC.”

I nearly threw up my pizza right on the spot. I definitely did NOT need to hear that.

There was a slight pause as Cynthia removed her hand from the mouthpiece and began to talk as though she was picking up from a previous conversation—which she wasn’t.

“So anyway, Stevie—I went to the gynecologist today for...some birth control pills.” She coughed. I thought nothing of it because I really wasn’t paying attention. Still her voice rattled on, sounding comparable to nails on a chalkboard. “Because, I’m really getting sick of buying condoms for JC and I and having the cashier look at me like I’m some kind of cheap tramp.” A look of disbelief passed over my face. What the hell?

“...and oh my GOD, you wouldn’t believe how much my examination hurt. I mean, I was totally prepared for sticking my feet in the stirrups, but...”

As a form of self-protection, my brain began tuning out her voice. How in God’s name could Cynthia go from one topic to another so fast? And it wasn’t as though I even wanted to hear about this.

Much to my relief, I heard the sweet sound of a double beep.

“Hey Cynth?” I broke into her tirade about how cold the examining table was. “Uh, can you hold on? I mean, what you’re telling me is just fascinating (note the sarcasm?), but Lance is beeping me on the other line.”

“Oh, okay,” Cynthia said blankly as though she was preoccupied by something else. “Just remind me to tell you about how I ran into my old high school English teacher. It was hilarious, Stevie. She like, almost flunked me so I wouldn’t pass into tenth grade—not that would have mattered, because we were in the middle of moving, remember? But what a bitch! Anyway, I was coming out of my examining room and she was walking into hers and she was wearing one of those paper gowns and she didn’t have it tied all the way in the back and—OH! Stevie! Guess what I found when I was going through your closet?” she asked in a singsong voice.


She laughed girlishly. “I found some of your...special magazines.”

I felt the blood rush to my face. “My special magazines?” I knew exactly what she was talking about. “And why were you going through my closet?”

“Because...” She trailed off and a hint of laughter sounded in her voice. “Well. That’s not important—but Stevie! I didn’t know you liked guys with such big di—”

“Cynthia, hold on!” I screamed, hitting the ‘pause two’ button as though my life depended on it. I don’t think I had ever blushed so furiously in my entire life. Taking a deep breath, I thought of Lance and I tried to calm myself down. I placed the phone next to my ear:


“Er, no...”

I cocked my head to the side. Whoever was on the other end of the line definitely wasn’t Lance.

“Who is this?” I demanded crankily. Talking to Cynthia hadn’t put me in the best mood. All I could think of was her and JC going through my magazines (Yes, I had bought them a few years back, but that was no one’s business, which is why I had buried them underneath a pile of sweaters that I never wore anymore) and mocking me. So needless to say, I wasn’t in the best of moods at that moment.

“This is Chris. Who is—Stephen?”

‘Chris’, I thought as I let out a sigh of relief. I was surprised that I hadn’t recognized his voice earlier.

“Hey Chris,” I said happily, trying to forget about the Cynthia fiasco. “How’re you doing?” I had slowly grown to like Chris, even though we had our ups and downs at the beginning of our friendship. He was a decent guy and supportive of Lance and me. I was positive that he wouldn’t say anything cringe-worthy during our conversation.

Boy was I wrong.

“Stephen?” The uncertain tone of Chris’s voice automatically caused me to worry. “Uh...Lance was supposed to connect me to his secretary, cause he said something about juggling our television schedule, but I guess he screwed that one up.” He laughed weakly and following his lead, so did I. “Anyway, I...um...I kinda have a question for you?”

I closed my eyes. For some reason—call it intuition or whatever—I had a feeling this was going to be not only weird, but embarrassing as well.


“Before I called Lance, we’re you and him...um...talking about—” He coughed and mumbled something unintelligible.

“What?” I blushed, although I had no clue what he was saying. I mean, if Chris was mumbling it?

“I said...mumblemumblemumble.”

“Chris, you’re going to have to speak up,” I told him hesitantly. “I really can’t understand a word of what you’re saying, buddy.”

“I said—” He took a deep breath. “Were you and Lance talking about sex?”

Well I certainly wasn’t expecting Chris to say that. I felt a blush creep up my neck and spread onto my cheeks. Thank goodness Chris couldn’t see me at that moment. Judging from the hotness of my skin, I probably looked as though I were on fire.

Despite my humiliation, I forged ahead. “Um. Why do you ask?”

“Because, well—now that I think of it, Lance sounded kinda distracted when we were talking. It was almost like when one of us guys is normally talking to him and he’s just gotten off the phone with you? He’s all spacey and shit, and really—it’s kinda annoying. Anyway, he said he was going to connect me to his secretary, and I heard a few beeps and then—” Chris paused again, and I was positive he was just as embarrassed as I was. “—When he picked up, I guess he thought I was you, ‘cause he said.” He stopped and made a clucking sound with his tongue. “Oh, I can’t say it. Not to you.”

“Well, I kinda want to know what Lance said.” I closed my eyes. “I promise I won’t laugh or anything.”

“You sure?”


“Okay.” Chris took another deep breath, as though what he was about to say was the worst thing he would ever say in his entire life. “He said... WhenIgethome,I’mgonnaripyourclothesoffandfuckyourbrainsout.”

It took me a few seconds to fully understand what Chris had just spit out at me, and when I finally did absorb the impact of his words, I’m surprised my head didn’t burst into flames.

“He...he...he said that?”

“Uh. Yeah, he said that to me. And when I told him that I wasn’t you,” Chris sighed and I could practically hear the sound of his face blushing through the telephone wires. “He screamed right into the phone. Albino made me deaf.”

“Um...” I searched for the right words to say, but I was unable to find them. I had never been in such an odd situation before, nor did I ever want to be in it again. “I’m sorry?”

Chris let out a short laugh. “You shouldn’t be sorry—loose lips Bass should be. And don’t let him think I’m not telling the other guys about this—”

“Er, great,” I said, cutting him off. “Chris—is there a way for you to connect me to Lance or something?”

“Hmmm. I don’t think there is,” Chris answered thoughtfully. “And I don’t think you can connect me to his secretary...how about if I just hang up?”

“Okay,” I said with relief. “Sounds good to me...er...I guess I’ll see you around. Or something,” I added hastily when I thought that sounded lame.

“Yup yup,” Chris answered brightly, as though he had already forgotten about our moment of embarrassment. “And Stephen—don’t worry about anything. We all say stupid things. You just happened to get the dippy boyfriend who thinks with his...Heh.”

I groaned inwardly. I was wrong. He hadn’t forgotten, although looking back, I didn’t think you could forget a sentence like that. I sighed and finally realized why people used the expression, ‘Wishing the ground would open up and swallow you whole.’

“Yeah, great, thanks for reminding me.” I rolled my eyes. “Bye!”

“Bye!” Chris hung up and I heard the sound of a double beep.

I hit the ‘pause two’ button.

“Hello? Lance?”


“What the hell did you say to Chris?”

Lance groaned loud enough for China to hear. “Stephen, I didn’t know it was him. I was just...kinda...” He coughed. “Thinking about us and how I wanted to hear your voice, so I kinda just hit a button and said...”

“That you wanted to fuck my brains out? Ow. That’s painful, Lance. And kinda messy to boot.”

“Oh, shut up.”


“What the hell?” The beeping had come from my end of the phone. “Lance?”


“My phone just beeped three times. What does that mean?”

I heard Lance swear under his breath. “Three times?” he said gruffly as the sound of his fist pounding against the desk came through loud and clear. “That means you have another call on your line. Um, hit the ‘star’ button and then the number ‘three’.”

“What there isn’t a pause three?” I sneered into the phone, suddenly fed up with the ridiculousness of the situation. What had started as a somewhat relaxing phone call was now causing my blood pressure to rise. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have locked myself in Lance’s bedroom and slept the afternoon away.

“No,” Lance said, not sensing the hostility in my voice. “The star three is an extra bonus, just in case someone is calling me when my other two lines are busy.”

“Great,” I muttered under my breath. “Lance, if I ever break up with you, it’s not going to be about you. It’s going to be over your damn phone.”

“What? Stephen, I—”

I didn’t let him finish. I wasn’t as pissed as I sounded. If anything, I was just a little worn out by this game of phone tag we were playing. The only thing I wanted to do was talk to my boyfriend. And I found out we couldn’t even be left alone on the telephone.

In my haste, I accidentally hit ‘Pause two’ and I cringed as Cynthia’s voice came through loud and clear.

“Stevie!” Cynthia barked. “What the hell is going on? I’m trying to tell you about my life and you keep putting me on ‘hold’. Do you not care about your cousin anymore?”

I rolled my eyes at Cynthia’s theatrics. “Well...yes, but Cynth?”


I bit the inside of my cheek. This was just too funny now. “Hold on.”

As I moved the phone away from my ear, I heard her scream in frustration being cut off as I hit the ‘star’ button and then the ‘three’.

“Hello, Bass residence.”

“Lance? Is that you?”

I squinted my eyes as though that would help me decode the mysterious voice on the other end of the line. Needless to say, the squinting didn’t help much. “Um, no. It’s not. Who is this?”



“Yes.” Pause. “Who is this?”

Like a Polaroid, an image of Justin getting whipped by Harris formed in my mind and I nearly fell off the couch spasming. “Um, it’s Stephen.”

“Oh, hi,” he said a bit flatly, as though I was the last person in the world that he wanted to talk to. “Lance wouldn’t happen to be around, would he?”

“Nope,” I answered. “In fact, he’s holding on the other line because of your phone call.”

“Oh great. Can you connect me to his line? I really need to talk to him, like, stat.”

Stat? Apparently, Justin had been watching one too many episodes of ER. Either that or he and Harris were getting into hospital themed sex or something equally weird. With those two you never knew what they were up to. I still hadn’t forgiven him for inviting Lance and I to have sex with him and Harris. Call me straight laced, but I enjoyed my monogamous relationship with Lance.

I grimaced as I quickly looked at the keypad. “And how would I do that?”

“You hit the star button and then the two. And then you hit the star button again.”

Hmm. That seemed simple enough. “Okay, hold on.” I had said that phrase more times than I had ever said in my entire life. Maybe I should look into a job with the phone company when I arrived back home. I hit the buttons that Justin had instructed and then hit the pause button, gearing myself up for some more ‘girl talk’. Joy.


“Noooo. It’s Lance.”

I sat there blankly, unsure of why I was talking to Lance and not Cynthia.

“Um...Justin called,” I began, drumming my fingers against my kneecap. “And he wanted to talk to you, so he told me how to connect you to him and I did it. And then I hit the pause button and—”

Lance groaned. “Um, Stephen? What number did he tell you to press?”


He groaned again. “You just connected him to Cynthia.”

“I...I...” And suddenly, I was unable to speak because I was laughing so hard. “I connected him to Cynthia?” I managed to say between giggles.

My laughter must have been contagious, because soon enough, Lance’s words were unintelligible as he was giggling himself. “I can’t b-believe you connected Justin to Cynthia.”

I snorted and slapped my hand against my thigh. “What do you think they’re talking about?”

Lance giggled again. “Hmm...” he began thoughtfully after he calmed down a little. “Knowing Cynthia, she probably asked him how Harris is. And how many times a day they’re having sex.”

“Oh geez.” I shook my head. “I just thought of what Cynth was telling me before I put her on hold.”

“What’s that?”

“She was telling me about her gynecologist appointment.” I groaned and fell back into the couch, swinging my legs onto the cushions. “Good God, knowing Cynthia, she probably just rambled on when she heard the other end of the phone pick up. So that means—”

“Justin is getting a fun filled report on Cynthia’s time at the female doctor?”

“Right.” Lance and I both fell silent for a second, before bursting into another round of laughter.

“Oh man, I’m never gonna hear the end of it from J,” Lance sighed happily. I closed my eyes, listening to the sound of Lance’s voice and trying to imagine what the expression on his face looked like. The image of my boyfriend, wiping tears from his eyes and smiling...well, for some reason it hurt a little. Maybe because he wasn’t there with me; I didn’t get to see him laugh or smile and I told myself that I should be used to it already. After all, we had spent time apart before.

But knowing that he was only a few miles away while I was in his house—somehow that seemed worse than being continents apart. It hurt more than when Lance was in Japan and I couldn’t comprehend why it did.

Once our laughter died down, Lance and I were just sitting on opposite ends of our connections, listening to the sound of each other breathing.

“Stephen?” Lance spoke my name as though he had never said it before. “I miss you.”

I swallowed as tears pricked behind my eyelids. I didn’t think I was going to get this way. I didn’t think that three simple words would make me turn into a big sap, but surprise surprise, they did.

“I know,” I sighed. “I miss you too, Lance. And what—” I looked at the clock. “—We've only been a few hours apart?”

He gave a short laugh, nowhere near the level of laughter we had shared only a few minutes ago. “Yeah. How the heck did we spend all that time apart when I was overseas?” He paused. “How did we manage to spend the last few days apart?”

I took a deep breath, briefly allowing my mind to think about the past few days when Lance and I had been fighting. “I—I don't’ know. Being stubborn works wonders, that’s all I can say.”

“Yup.” I heard Lance sigh sadly. “We’re insane, Stephen.” I was about to answer him, when the sound of a woman’s voice was heard in the background. I could tell that Lance covered the mouthpiece of the phone with his hand and said something, leaving his words slightly muffled.

“Stephen?” he said a few seconds later. “I...I gotta go. The film crew is here and so is Meredith.”

“Oh.” I swallowed again. “So, um, I’ll see you later, right?”

“Of course,” Lance answered, his voice strained with emotion. “I’ll pick up some Chinese food for dinner—Canton. There’s a little place right next door that we order from whenever I’m in town.”

“Sounds good.”

“It is.”

We paused for a few more seconds, when Lance finally spoke again. “I don’t want to say good bye, you know.”

“Neither do I.”

Lance hesitated before giving a slight laugh. “One of us has to say ‘bye’ first, Stephen.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I grumbled, forcing myself to smile. I told myself that getting all emotional over saying goodbye was silly, but I couldn’t help it. That’s just how I was. “Which one of us goes first?”


I sighed which, in turn, caused Lance to sigh.



Lance sighed again, and this time it was more disgruntled than before.

“How about this,” he said softly. “On the count of three, we say good-bye and then hang up.”

I smiled a little. That was a good idea. Trust Lance to come up with it.

“Okay,” I agreed with a nod of my head. “On the count of three. Ready?”


“One...” I listened as Lance and I counted in unison. “Two...three.” We didn’t hang up. Instead, we continued to hold on, listening for the sound of the other one’s voice.

“I love you,” he finally said. I swore I heard his voice crack.

“I love you too.”

“Bye, Stephen. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye Lance...See you.” And then I smirked as a thought popped into my mind. “I’ll be naked when you get home. Bye!”

“What?! Stephen!” I heard Lance sputter my name helplessly, but I refused to answer him. Instead, I hit the ‘off’ button and laughed mischievously to myself as I rested the phone on the coffee table.

I forgot about my cousin and Justin and the fiasco of the crossed phone lines. As I stretched out on the couch, I realized that all I wanted to think about was Lance.

So I did.


Natalie tilted her face up to look at me. Her eyes were bright and shining with excitement. Sitting next to me on the cold, concrete steps, Natalie gently ran her fingers through Fred’s soft fur.

Fred was our dog that my mother had adopted a few years back. He was a black Irish wolfhound that Natalie loved more than anything else in the world.

“Stephen,” Natalie said my name softly, as though she was at church instead of in our own yard. “Why won’t you pet Fred?”

As though I were answering her question, I let loose with an ear popping sneeze. Grabbing a handkerchief from the back pocket of my jeans, I loudly blew my nose, which caused Natalie to giggle.

“I’d pet Fred,” I managed to say apologetically between sniffles. “But he makes me sneeze a little, sweetie.”

Natalie pouted and a cool breeze blew past, causing a few strands of blonde hair to fall into her eyes. Brushing them out of the way, her eyebrows furrowed. “But Fred thinks that you don’t like him, Stephen.”

I laughed and sniffled a little. “Nat, Fred knows I love him.” I blew my nose again (much to my sisters amusement, I could sound like a foghorn at times) and then stuck the handkerchief back in my pocket. “We grew up together. It’s just that his fur makes me sneeze.”

And with those words, I sneezed again. Sighing, I rolled my watering eyes, grabbed for the handkerchief and blew my nose again.

“Aww, come on Stephen,” Natalie giggled, before smiling the kind of smile that only a younger sister could do. “Just give Fred one kiss. One.”

Fred looked up at me with his big brown eyes, almost as though he was pleading with Natalie. With a smile and a shake of my head, I leaned over and Fred gently licked me on the forehead.

Natalie giggled again when Fred suddenly jumped up onto my shoulders. His muddy paws pressed against my clean blue oxford shirt as he moved lower and licked my nose playfully.

With a slight laugh, I swatted him away. “Silly Fred! That tickles!” I chuckled as he continued to lick at my face. Suddenly, Fred tilted his head to the side and looked at me with confused eyes.

“Fred? I’m not Fred.” I stared at my dog in amazement. Why was Fred talking? Dogs don’t talk. He continued to stare at me as though I had grown another head, before talking again. “I’m not Fred...Stephen, have you been seeing someone else?”

I blinked in disbelief as the realization dawned on me. Wait—Fred? My dog, Fred? Fred had passed away about five years ago. And Natalie—Natalie? Wasn’t she in Wisconsin? And why was I sitting on the back steps of my old house?

‘Hey Peterson!’ the voice in my head spoke up. ‘You’re dreaming, you idiot.’

Hearing those words caused my eyes to fly open, only to find Lance leaning over me and straddling my hips with his thighs. His face was inches from mine and there was a cute smile on his lips as I woke up.

However, I didn’t find it as adorable as Lance obviously did. I screamed.

“AHHHH!” I must have frightened Lance something fierce, because he screamed right back at me.

“AHHHHH!” And with that, he rolled off the couch and onto the floor, neatly bumping the lower half of his back against the edge of the coffee table.

“Jesus Christ!” Lance yelped as he looked at me with a bewildered expression. He reached back and rubbed at the sore spot. “Try to wake your boyfriend up with a kiss and he screams at you like you’re murdering him. What the hell, Stephen?”

I blushed a dark red, trying to gather up and make sense of my scattered thoughts. I must have dozed off. The last thing I remembered was the catastrophe with Lance’s call waiting. And then I had settled back on the couch, closed my eyes and daydreamed of Lance. I looked over at the wall clock and shook my head, amazed that four hours had passed since we had last spoken. I must have been more tired than I thought.

“Sorry,” I said meekly. “I, um, I thought you were my dog.”

Lance looked at me as though I had flipped. “You thought I was a dog?”

I nodded and ran a hand through my hair. “Yeah,” I said sheepishly. “I was having this weird dream. Natalie and I were at my old house and we used to have this dog—an Irish Wolfhound named Fred—and for some reason, Nat and I were sitting on the back steps and Fred was there, causing me to sneeze.”

The irritated look on Lance’s face disappeared and one of amusement took its place. “You thought I was a dog?” he snickered.

I cleared my throat, desperately wanting to change the subject, only to be remembered of Lance licking at my face. “Hey, what were you doing anyway, Lance? Licking me? What gives?”

With a grin, Lance pulled himself off the floor, dusted his hands on the front of his pants and then plopped next to me on the couch.

“I was trying to wake you up with a kiss,” he began, staring into my eyes as he spoke. His voice grew husky as he took my hand into his. “You know...like this.”

And with that, Lance leaned over, gently pressing his lips against mine and putting me off guard. “And like this—” he whispered, slightly pulling away before leaning in once more and kissing my forehead. “—And this.”

Lance moved a little lower, his lips barely touching the tip of my nose before moving to my lips. Before I could catch my breath, Lance was kissing me deeply, passionately, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me closer to his chest.

I wondered if I was dreaming. Maybe I had moved out of one dream and into another. But when Lance gently nipped at my lower lip and a brief flash of pain coursed throughout my body, I realized that this wasn’t a dream at all.

“Mmmm.” When I opened my eyes, I found Lance staring back at me with a devilish look. “That was nice,” I whispered. “Do it again?”

Lance laughed gently, but complied with my request, leaning forward and pressing his mouth against my own. We fell into the kiss. Our hands ran across each other’s bodies, sliding underneath articles of clothing as though we hadn’t seen each other in years.

“How was your day?” I asked as Lance brushed a trail of kisses along my neck. “Good?”

“Tiring.” He paused and looked at me wearily. “All this paperwork and meetings and being nice and...” Lance shook his head. “So tiring and boring and all I could think of—” He ran his hand downwards until he rested his palm flat against the bulge in my pants. He grinned mischievously. “Was you. And this.”

Unable to move, I swallowed thickly. Every nerve of my body felt like it was on fire. I sat there, waiting for Lance to make the next move. With a short laugh, Lance gently squeezed at the growing hardness, before running the pads of his fingers back up my chest. He moved his mouth to my ear.

“I missed you, Stephen,” Lance whispered before running his tongue down my neck. The sensation ran down my spine, nearly causing me to fly straight through the ceiling. “I missed you a lot.” He licked along my jawline until our mouths met again. “I’ve been waiting all day to do this.”

“It’s not like we’ve been separated for weeks,” I said between kisses. “It’s just been a few hours, Lance.”

Pulling away, I watched Lance’s Adams apple bob up and down as he swallowed. “I know,” he said before standing up and pulling me off the couch. “But, Stephen...”

Somehow my feet were pressed firmly against the floor. And I was amazed by that, because judging from the way I felt inside, I almost expected to be floating around in the air. Around us, the house was silent, allowing me to listen to the raspy sound of Lance’s breaths. His face was flushed and his eyes looked wild.

“W-w-hat?” I asked nervously. I hadn’t seen that look in Lance’s eyes since we last had sex.

With a coy smile, Lance pulled me closer until our faces were less than an inch apart. Moving his lips to my ear, Lance then went on to whisper something completely unrepeatable.

I nearly fainted on the spot.

Laughing carelessly at my reaction, Lance gently tugged at my hand, leading me towards the back of the house.

“Come on,” he whispered, eyes twinkling as he took in the shocked look on my face. “I have something to show you.”


Within a few minutes, Lance had surprised me by leading me out to his hot tub. Along its ledge sat a bottle of wine and pair of two wineglasses. I looked at him with question marks for eyes, and Lance responded by closing his eyes and mimicking a snore, which caused me to laugh. I realized that Lance must have set all this up while I had napped. The thought caused me to smile.

“Well,” I smirked as Lance dropped my hand and began unbuttoning his shirt. “Aren’t you rich?”

He let out a deep laugh as he continued to undress. I watched with interested eyes as Lance stripped down to his boxer shorts and when that was done, he reached out and took my hand again.

“You makin’ fun of me?” Lance asked in a teasing voice.

Like so many times before, my boyfriend’s words caused me to blush. There was something about Lance that caused me to feel giddy and embarrassed all at once. He stared at me with those green eyes almost as though he was trying to remember every detail of my face and for some reason, I found that incredibly romantic.

“Nah,” I scoffed as Lance slid his hands underneath my shirt. “I wouldn’t make fun of you—not with that booze over there, I wouldn’t.” He laughed at my joke before pulling my shirt over my head and tossing it onto the ground.

“So you’re only interested in my wine and my hot tub?” Lance asked, forming his lips into a pout as he hooked his thumbs in the loops of my jeans.

“Ahh, well,” Lance shrugged as his pout turned into a grin. “At least I know how to win you over.” He toyed with the button on my jeans, pulling it through the fabric before sliding the zipper down. His smile had turned into a grin as I kicked off my sneakers, allowing the denim to slide past my hips and down my legs.

“You waste no time in getting me naked,” I said dryly as I stepped out of my jeans, leaving me clad in only my boxers. Lance looked me dead in the eye.

“Of course—I’ve been thinking about that all day.” Taking my hand, Lance carefully led me into the water. Stepping up and into the hot tub, I let out a gasp as the warm, swirling water hit my skin. Sighing blissfully, I sunk deeper until I was sitting down.

Taking a place opposite from me, Lance sunk lower and lower until his chin was touching the water. He then popped out, causing droplets of water to splash onto me.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, wiping off my face in vain. “That was mean.”

Lance stuck his tongue out, before gliding towards the wine.

“This is nice, huh?” Lance asked as he fiddled with the bottle. “To tell you the truth, Stephen...this is the first time I’ve been in this since it was installed.” I watched as he poured the wine into glasses, before setting the bottle back on the ledge. “So I’m hoping that, you know, everything is okay.”


“You know,” Lance said with worry, as he made his way through the water, glasses in hand. “Okay—all the wires are plugged in and we won’t get electrocuted or something.” He smiled as he handed me a glass of wine. “Here. Enjoy.”

“Uh huh,” I nodded warily as I took it from him. “Enjoy my glass of wine and worry about getting killed in your hot tub? Wow Lance, that’s so considerate of you. How can I ever repay you for your safety concerns?” He let out a chuckle as he took a seat across from me, while I took a sip of the wine. “Mmmm,” I said as the sweet liquid made it’s way down my throat. “This is good—I could almost forgive you for wanting to zap me.”

Lance grinned. “Well, it’s nice to know you’re so forgiving.” He tilted the glass in my direction. “JC bought this for me as a housewarming gift—it’s a peach flavored Georgina blush wine. He said something about how it was perfect for the ‘southern gentleman’” Lance furrowed his eyebrows as he stared at the glass. “I don’t know. I think he was high or something.”

We laughed at Lance’s joke. I thought briefly about how odd JC was at times and how that reason alone made him perfect for Cynthia. Lance and I grew silent as we sipped our wine and stared at the stars overhead. There was something so perfect about that moment—something that I couldn’t put my finger on—but whatever it was I never wanted to forget it.

I heard Lance sigh, and it wasn’t a sigh of sadness or depression or anything negative like that. It was a sigh that I could fully understand because I felt like doing the same thing. The past two days had aged me somewhat. I was tired, both mentally and physically, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about the fact that Lance and I were both half-naked and sitting in a hot tub.

It was as though Lance and I were mindlinked, because as the water gently swirled around us, I suddenly felt as Lance’s foot snaked along my legs and—

“WHOA!” I yelped as Lance placed his foot against my crotch. My body jerked in surprise at the touch, while the liquid contents of my wineglass went flying into the water.

Lance laughed huskily at my reaction and continued to massage his foot against my groin. “Gotta watch for what’s lurking in the water, Stephen” he teased seductively. “You never know—things could bite under here.”

I raised an eyebrow at him, setting my empty glass on the ledge. I tried not to sigh at the feelings that were building up inside of me. “Oh really?”


And with that, Lance glided over to where I sat, the water swirling magnetically around his body as he drew closer.

“Hey,” he said, setting down his wineglass next to mine before cupping my face in his hands. His voice was soft, almost gentle, but the look in his eyes told a different story. They were wilder than before and it looked as though he was drugged out of his mind. He smiled coyly, pressing his body against mine and brushing his lips against the rough stubble of my cheek.

“Stephen,” he whispered pleadingly in my ear, running a hand up and down my chest before gently tweaking a nipple. “I...I...” He smiled seductively. “I want you.” And then he pulled back slightly, biting his lip as though he were nervous. “That sounded dumb, didn’t it?”

I answered his question by wrapping an arm around his waist and pulling him in for a deep kiss. I hadn’t felt this passionate in ages and I was about to take full advantage of it.

Or should I say, Lance was about to take advantage of me.

I had it all mapped out in my mind—I was going to turn Lance around, push him against the side of the hot tub and then go down on him. But it didn’t turn out the way I conceived.

Treating me to another flirtatious smile, Lance reached up and ran his wet fingers through my hair, pushing it back so he could look into my eyes. Momentarily, I reminded myself to get a haircut sometime in the near future, but forgot about that as Lance kissed me again.

He began to kiss my neck, moving his lips lower until he reached my chest. Using the tip of his tongue, Lance traced a path down the center of my pecs, keeping eye contact the whole way down. His green eyes were bright with excitement as he continued to lick slowly along my stomach, until he reached the waistband of my shorts.

Sliding his hands along my sides, Lance gently tickled me in the process. “Move up,” he murmured between placing sloppy kisses on my stomach. “Up, up, up,” he breathed against my wet skin.

I did as he told, adjusting my body and pulling myself out of the water slightly, allowing Lance better access to my shorts. With a devilish grin, Lance stared into my eyes as he gently slid the boxers past my hips, over my erection and off my body, until he was twirling them around on his index finger in front of me.

“I’ve always liked you better naked,” he laughed seductively, before tossing them onto the ground outside the hot tub, where they landed with a wet plop. “Much better.”

Unable to speak, I found that I could only watch as Lance leaned forward and kissed my stomach again before reaching up to toy with my hardening nipples.

“You don’t mind?” Lance whispered. His mouth was inches from my hotness and I could feel the warm strains of his breath blowing against my erection. His eyes pierced mine as he waited for my answer.

But I didn’t speak. I couldn’t. I was staring at his mouth, noticing how full and swollen his normally thin lips were and how perfectly shaped his mouth was. I thought about that mouth wrapped around my hardness and in one swift motion, I placed my hand on the back of Lance’s head and gently guided his open mouth towards my erection.

While Lance and I had done ‘things’ before at a public lake, the sensation of Lance sucking me off in his hot tub was different. More private, I guess. There really wasn’t time to think about that though and all thoughts were eradicated as Lance gently licked along the underside of my hardness, causing me to shiver in the cool night air.

“Mmmmm,” I moaned, pulling Lance’s head closer by running my hands through his damp hair. I eased back as Lance gagged slightly, but my hips were thrusting uncontrollably. I couldn’t help it. Lance’s mouth felt that good. The tip of my erection brushed against Lance’s lips and I watched as a dazed Lance opened his mouth once more, taking my entire length down his throat.

The feeling was incredible and Lance was acting so sexy, I’m surprised my heart didn’t burst out of my chest. I blinked a couple of times as though that would help me gain composure and needless to say, it didn’t. I watched as Lance worked me over with his lips and his tongue, brushing the head of my erection with his lips, before seductively lapping at the head. When he met my eyes, I watched as Lance smirked at the pained expression on my face. The corners of his mouth turned up a little and I bit my tongue, desperately trying to hold my emotions back.

He pulled off my erection with a loud pop, but not before leaning over and playfully licking the head once more. “Stephen,” Lance murmured as he began to rise out of the water, trailing his lips up my chest, until we were face to face. “Did anyone ever tell you how hot you are?”

He didn’t give me a chance to answer. Instead, he pushed forward and kissed me, our tongues tangling as our kiss grew more and more passionate. I felt as Lance grinded the lower half of his body into mine; nearly sending me right over the edge. My knees grew weak. But Lance must have noticed my reaction, because he abruptly stopped the kiss and just stood there, smirking while I panted.

“What do you want me to do, Stephen?” Lance moved towards me and a wave of warm water splashed against my stomach.

What else could I say?

Gasping a rather hasty, “Finish,” I placed my hands on Lance’s shoulders and forcefully pushed him downward into the water. He seemed to enjoy it. I’m not sure if Lance was resting on his knees or if he just had extremely good balance, but I watched as my boyfriend leaned forward, parted his lips and, well, the rest as they say, was history.

The side of the hot tub was uncomfortable as it pressed into my lower back, but I hardly noticed the pain. Lance took my length in his mouth until the tip of his nose was almost touching my stomach. The sound of the water in the hot tub began to match the rhythm of Lance as he moved up and down, licking and sucking as though making me come were his only goal in life. At times he’d look up, watching my reaction with a pleased expression.

And at that moment I was so in love with Lance, it wasn’t even funny.

Coyly, Lance pulled his mouth off my hardness and wrapped his hand around the base. He gently licked along the underside one last time, meeting my eyes, before taking me into his mouth. And that was it for me. I hadn’t come in over a week and needless to say, that simple move did me in.

I moaned out something, not caring anymore about keeping quiet because if anyone was watching us, then they were getting a great show. Sliding my fingers into Lance’s hair, I thrust my hips forward and came. I almost expected Lance to pull off, but much to my surprise, he didn’t.

I nearly fainted with the exertion of coming. After all that teasing earlier in the morning and waiting all day for Lance to come home, I’m surprised I didn’t spontaneously combust when Lance first kissed me.

When I felt myself go limp, Lance slowly pulled his mouth away and began sliding back up my body, dragging a wet hand along my chest before sliding it around the back of my neck. There was a rather satisfied look on his face.

“Stephen.” He pressed his forehead to mine and gingerly licked his lips. “That was...”

I didn’t wait for him to finish his sentence. I needed to kiss him.

So I did.

Lance responded quickly to my kiss, as though he really didn’t feel like talking himself. Wrapping my arms around his waist, Lance and I slowly sunk back into the warm, bubbly water, making out like there was no tomorrow.

Lance sucked at a small spot on my neck before asking, “So...was it good for you?”

“Mmmmm.” I could barely form a coherent sentence. “Yeah. It was.”

We kissed for a few more seconds and my heart nearly burst with happiness as Lance licked around my lips, before diving in for another fervent kiss.

“Stephen?” Lance was staring at me with heavy lidded eyes and a leering smile. “Want to go inside?”

I nodded wordlessly. I knew that Lance wanted more. I knew by the way he was straddling me, legs wrapped around my waist so that his erection was pressed against my stomach. He was so hard, I’m surprised he didn’t break when my hand drifted down and gave him a squeeze.

With a smile that bordered on mischievous, Lance leaned in and gently licked my neck, causing me to sigh.

The night wasn’t over yet.


The odd thing about a relationship is the willingness to have sex in odd places. I mean, when you’re really horny and your boyfriend is standing there, licking at your neck and whispering things in your ear that you’d never even fathom, any inhibitions you have, suddenly disappear.

Which would explain why Lance wound up lying on the pool table. His wet shorts were lying on the floor in a soaking heap and there was water puddling everywhere.

“Stephen,” he whispered as he climbed backwards onto the felt mat. “I can’t wait for the bedroom. I need you now.”

I felt dizzy. Standing there, stark naked in the middle of Lance’s entertainment room, watching as he laid out on his pool table, felt vaguely...porn-ish. I almost expected the tacky music to start at any second and a director to emerge from the shadows with a clapboard, while a fluffer stood on the sidelines in case I needed any ‘help’ with my performance.

Nothing like that happened of course. But while I stood there shell-shocked by Lance’s behavior, he took that as an opportunity to hook his legs around my hips and brought me closer towards the table.

He whispered my name again, but I barely heard him. I felt as though I were in a trance. There was a swinging lamp hanging over the pool table, casting odd shadows over Lance’s nudity. My eyes drifted below his waist and I blinked in disbelief.

For some reason, Lance looked huge. It wasn't as though he was small in size, but now, he just looked unbelievably big. I think it was because of the light—it was shining over him oddly. But Lance, all he could do was smile when he noticed where my gaze had drifted.

“Come on,” he whispered, his voice low and dark as though he was the snake in the garden. “You know you want to.”

He was right—I did.

He shifted his body up on the felt, higher, so that I would have easier access to his erection, which was now lying against his stomach and twitching. I bent at the waist, once, twice, trying to get the odd hang of bending over so I could suck off my boyfriend. It was weird at first and I didn’t know what to do with my hands. At first, I placed them behind my back and the image in my mind was an odd one—I felt as though I were doing something almost polite.

Lance moaned as I slid my lips around his hardness. “Stephen. Oh...Stephen.”

‘Well,’ I thought dryly, ‘he must like saying my name.’

I soon blocked out the sarcastic voice in my head as Lance writhed around on the pool table, stretching out his arms before reaching out to run his fingers through my disheveled hair. I stopped worrying about my hands and began to slide them across his chest, the pads of my fingertips coming into contact with his nipples. I gently tweaked both of them at the same time and Lance’s reaction was to moan out my name once more.

Just because I had come once already didn’t mean that I was done for the night. Listening to Lance’s sighs and gasps of pleasure turned me on. If there’s one thing Lance never was, it was quiet during sex. I ran my fingers along his sides and he laughed a little.

“You’re tickling me,” he giggled before moaning out my name once more. I pulled off his hardness and began to lick the tops of his thighs, before spreading apart his legs and gently brushing my tongue against his balls.

He gasped again. “Lower,” he whispered so quietly, I barely heard him. I licked a little underneath and watched out of the corner of my eye as Lance pounded his fists against the table in frustration.

I smiled lewdly. “You like that?”

“Mmmmmm,” was his only answer. Judging from the look on his face, I guess that Lance loved it. So I did it again. I looked up, watching as his pale skin began to flush. I licked the inside of his thighs and nearly fell over, dizzy with lust.

Lance smelled wonderful—like chlorine and sex all rolled into one. I’m sure I smelled the same way.

I plunged my mouth over his erection again, gently sucking at the damp head. Apparently, Lance liked this an awful lot, because he began thrusting his hips in the air and forcing more of himself down my throat. He kept saying my name over and over and over, until it didn’t even sound like my name anymore.

I felt his body tense and knew that he was about to come. I didn’t want him to though, so I pulled my mouth off his hardness and began to work my way up. I kissed his body in intervals. First, the spot below his navel and then right between his pecs. I placed my next kiss on his Adams apple. Finally, I reached his mouth, where Lance pulled me into a kiss that was both romantic and incredibly dirty.

I liked it a lot.

When we parted, I looked into Lance’s eyes and adjusted my body so that we were lying side to side on the pool table. I prayed that the legs wouldn’t collapse, but then realized God probably wasn’t answering prayers like mine.

He stared at me for a second and I think he realized that the tables had turned. If he had been in charge in the hot tub, I was in charge of him now and I liked that feeling a lot.

“What do you want, Lance?” I whispered, running the tip of my finger up and down his chest. “Tell me.” He shivered slightly.

“I...” He blushed and I thought it was odd of Lance to blush. Was this the same person from before? The one who had whispered things that could only be said in a triple X-rated movie? I found his bashfulness charming and I grinned, as his blush grew deeper.

“What Lance?”

He stared me directly in the eyes. “I want you to...” He motioned below his waist. “I want you to...” He didn’t finish his sentence. I leaned over and placed my lips next to his ear.

“You want me to fuck you?” I dropped my voice down a few octaves and blew into his ear, before gently biting at the earlobe.

Lance didn’t say a word, but instead let out some kind of weird noise, followed by a nod of his head.

I smiled oddly again and shifted my body so that the soles of my feet were flat against the floor. Grabbing his calves, I gently pulled Lance’s body until his rear was at the edge of the pool table and the small of his back was pressed against the felt. He had to be uncomfortable, I thought, noticing the odd positioning of Lance’s body, but he didn’t seem to care.

Looking down, I noticed how hard I had become and when I looked back up, I saw that Lance was watching and waiting to see what I’d do next. Since we didn’t have any lube, I reached up and gently swiped some of his precum off his stomach. It was just pooling there, probably because I was denying him release and well, torturing him—in a good way though.

Lifting his legs into the air, I gently spread the stickiness around his hole, not wanting to hurt Lance, before sliding a finger in.

Lance moaned again and this time, the sound of his voice raced through me, going straight to the center of my hardness.

I slid another finger in, before reaching up and skimming more of his precum off his stomach. He smiled as my fingers touched his skin and raised his hips when he felt my fingers slide inside of him.

After a few more seconds of teasing him and brushing my fingers along the more sensitive areas of Lance’s body, I took a deep breath and pushed myself inside of Lance. I watched the expression on his face turn from impatience to ecstasy. His eyelids closed and his face flushed an even deeper shade of red.

I slowly slid in and out of Lance, allowing him to get used to the feeling before moving a little faster.

He gasped at the sensation and I was about to stop, thinking that I was hurting him, when Lance suddenly gritted his teeth, eyes flashing in frustration, and growled, “harder, Stephen, harder.”

My knees grew weak when his words hit my ears and I complied with his request. I held his ankles but soon let go when he wrapped his calves around my back. I watched the look on his face and the blissful expression in his eyes. I saw his tongue dart out, licking the beads of sweat off his upper lip and suddenly, I had this urge to kiss him.

Leaning over, our mouths met in a passionate kiss that only seemed to enhance everything. I ran my hands over his chest, tweaking his nipples before sliding down his arms while I continued to thrust in and out. My hand found it’s way to Lance’s straining erection and I began to slide my hand over his shaft.

He moaned into my mouth before rolling his head backwards. I took advantage of that and tongued the hollow at the base of Lance’s throat, licking up the sweat before moving lower and brushing my tongue over the hard peaks of his nipples.

I felt his erection press against my stomach and when I pulled away, he left a trail of stickiness on my skin. I continued to thrust in and out and even though what we were doing was incredibly hot and dirty and I couldn’t help blurting out a frantic, “I love you”.

“I love you too,” he gasped as I continued working in and out of him. “So much, Stephen. Oh God, harder, please.”

If I were to go any harder, I’d shove him off the table and onto the floor.

I ran my hands over Lance’s chest one last time before wrapping my hand around his hardness and giving it a final jerk.

The muscles in my body tensed. Sensing that I was about to come, I felt Lance’s grip around my waist tighten. He pulled me forward and before I could even scream out anything, I came deep inside of Lance.

Lance moaned my name as a blissful smile formed on his face. I watched as he grasped his erection, sliding his hand up and down the shaft and finally bringing himself to orgasm.

I watched as the first sticky stream of white shot across his chest, while the second one hit him deftly in the cheek. I blinked in disbelief as a few more shots landed on his stomach. I had never seen Lance come like that—not in all the months that we were together. The moan that elicited from his throat was loud enough to rattle my eardrums, yet it was sexy as hell.

I thrust a few more times into Lance before pulling out. With weak legs, I managed to crawl my way back onto the pool table, hovering over Lance and licking my way back towards his mouth. I swiped my tongue over his messy chest, cleaning him up with a loud, exaggerated ‘slurp’ that caught his attention. He watched with curious green eyes as my lips danced over his sticky skin, and when I finally reached face level, I darted out my tongue and cleaned up his cheek.

Lance moaned slightly, enough to let me know that I had turned him on with what I had done. A slow smile began to form on his face and without saying a single word; Lance leaned in and kissed me, his tongue sliding between my lips.

We lay there making out on top of the pool table and the seconds seemed to stretch into forever, when we suddenly heard a loud crackle come from underneath. Looking at each other, Lance and I frantically scrambled off the pool table and onto our feet. Whatever was left of our afterglow disappeared, as we suddenly became worried about the pool table collapsing.

As Lance and I stood there, I suddenly felt a wave of embarrassment wash over me. I shouldn’t have been, but I was. After all, Lance and I were in a serious relationship—but the way I had acted and the things I had said in the heat of the moment—which wasn’t how I normally behaved. We exchanged sheepish glances and the acknowledgement of my thoughts was evident as our gazes broke.

Silence. And then:

“Stephen?” I felt Lance press his fingertips to my cheek, forcefully turning my face to his. Our eyes met.


His smile grew wider and I noticed as a bead of sweat rolled down his cheek. He didn’t bother to brush it away. “I love you, you know that?”

I laughed softly. “I know. You already said it when we were...uh...” I blushed.

“I know, but I wanted to say it again.”

And with that, Lance reached around and drew me close. He moved forward and pressed his lips to mine. It certainly wouldn’t be the last kiss we would share that night and for that I was thankful. I knew our time together was running out and that made me feel, for lack of a better word, sad. It made me think of everything that had happened these past few days: the time we wasted arguing and the time we spent together and even though they didn’t balance each other out, they certainly balanced in emotion. The equation made sense to me at least, although I wasn’t ready to share it with Lance.

I choked back a sigh as we parted, only to catch a quick breath as Lance leaned in for another kiss. This time he wrapped his strong arms around me, holding me as though he never wanted to let go. For a brief second, I wondered what was running through his mind.

And then I stopped thinking and fell into our kiss. After all, some things are better left unknown.


Lance and I went to bed that night like two giggling teenagers. We were giddy, to say the least, crawling around the bed and kissing and doing certain things almost as though this was our first time with another person (which it wasn’t, but I’m thinking that our dalliance on the pool table had done something odd to both of us).

“Stephen?” Lance had been lying next to me and as he spoke my name, he rolled closer towards me, resting his head on top of my chest and tilting his face upwards so that he could look into my eyes.

I looked down and brushed the damp strands of hair away from his forehead. “Yeah?”

“You have to leave tomorrow, don’t you?”

I nodded silently only because if I would have spoken, I knew my voice would have cracked. The thought of leaving Lance behind killed me. I knew that he was going back on tour soon. I had to go back home and face the exciting prospect of homework and classes sometime. Remember I was on scholarship and I had that exciting offer to England, which I wish never existed. Everytime I thought about that, my stomach churned as though I had just ingested sour milk.

I knew we couldn’t be together all the time. We had talked about this during the ride down to Lance’s house, and it had upset him so much, he nearly ran his SUV off the road.

I guess we had to talk about it sometime. But did we have to talk about it so soon, especially after the fantastic sex we just had?

Sighing, Lance found my hand, weaving his fingers through mine. “I wish you wouldn’t have to leave,” he finally said after a prolonged silence. “But I guess you do.” He paused again and looked up at me, the light green of his eyes almost black. “If it makes you feel any better, I have to get back to all my *NSYNC stuff too.”

I nodded and the back of my head brushed coarsely against the pillows behind it. “Yeah, I figured that out already.” I smiled a bit sadly after finding my voice and blinking away the wetness in my eyes. “Touring?”

He nodded against my chest and his hair tickled my skin. “Yeah. Chris’s shoulder is all better now.” He stopped in mid-sentence to prop himself up. “Well, not completely better, but you know...”

“It’s healed?”

“It’s healed.” Lance smiled at me in the darkness, before pulling himself into a kneeling position. “But it still hurts him—but—it’s Chris. He’ll be fine. He’s tough, you know.”

“Uh huh.” I stared up at Lance. “Aren’t you worried?”

He looked at me blankly. “Worried about what?”

“You know, going back on tour.”

Lance gave a short laugh and then scooted himself closer. “Worried about that? Nah. Not at all. What happened then is in the past. And, you know—” Lance grinned in the darkness. “I love to tour.” He laughed again. “I have to tour. I don’t think the other guys would take no for an answer.”

I sat up and grabbed one of Lance’s hands in my own, giving it a slight squeeze. “Not even if I kidnap you and tie you to a chair?” He arched an eyebrow suggestively and squeezed back.

“I kinda like that idea,” Lance drawled out in his husky voice, eyes meeting my own as he bumped my knee with his. He grinned. “Provided we don’t turn it into some kind of Justin and Harris thing.”

I sighed. “You had to mention them again, didn’t you?” We laughed at that one, before falling into silence once more.

Judging from Lance’s odd behavior, I had this feeling that he wanted to say more. He was fidgeting, biting his lower lip and chewing on it, before squirming around on the sheets. And I was right.

“Stephen?” Lance blurted out my name as though he was silently arguing with himself.

I stared at him for a split second before answering. “Yeah?”

“I need to ask you a question.”

I eyed him again, this time a little more suspiciously than the first.


I watched as Lance licked his lips nervously—which looked incredibly sexy—and drummed his fingertips against his bare thighs.

“Yesterday. You know how I got that phone call about the CMA’s?”

I nodded and waited for him to continue. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to bring that subject up. Quickly racking my brain, I thought of all the ideas I could come up with pertaining to the CMA’s—and came up with nothing. Damn.

“Well, um...” Lance continued. “I didn’t want to bring it up until you left, cause I wanted to kinda surprise you. But then I thought about school and thought I should ask you in advance. And, well.” He blushed slightly and looked down at the sheets that he was fingering nervously. “The producers gave me two extra seats—in case I wanted to bring along some friends.” Lance looked up and grinned. “I was wondering if you wanted to come along with me.”

I sat there, shell shocked, but only for a second.

“Oh wow, Lance...I’d love to come along. Not that country music is my thing, but I’ve never been to an awards ceremony before and...” I slapped a hand to my forehead and felt as my mouth stretched into an ear-to-ear grin. “I’d love to come along!”

Lance held up his hands warningly. “There’s a catch, though.”

I groaned and rolled my eyes. “There always has to be a catch, doesn’t it?” And Lance nodded.

“You have to bring Cynthia with you.”

“Cynthia?” I asked Lance after I had gotten past the shock. “Why her? She hates country music! In fact, I’m not sure if she could sit through three hours of that kind of music, Lance. She might go ballistic or something.”

My boyfriend just laughed slightly and somehow fell into my lap, so that the back of his head rested against my groin. I tried not to smile, but I couldn’t help it. It felt really good.

“Silly Stephen, I know,” Lance chuckled. “But she needs to come along. You need a date—and as much as I’d love to be your date, I can’t be it. I’d say to bring along your friend from school—Marianne, right?”


“But you can’t. You need to bring someone who knows about me and you.” In the blink of an eye, Lance was kneeling in front of me, taking my hands into his own. “And that person is Cynthia.”

I groaned. “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And then I looked into Lance’s eyes, which were wide open with excitement and love and a million other things that I couldn’t place my finger on. “You really want me there with you?”

He nodded wordlessly, tightening his grip around my fingers.

“Then I’ll go.” I sighed. “With my cousin as my date.”

Lance seemed to ignore the last half of my sentence as he suddenly leapt up and started bouncing on the bed, sans clothing. I watched as he jumped, up and down, up and down.

“Yahoo!” he whooped excitedly as he continued to jump up and down and jostling me in the process of doing so. Despite the fact that I was about to fall off the bed, I couldn’t help but watch as a certain part of Lance’s anatomy flopped up and down with every jump he took.


“Yeah?” he asked as he continued to jump on the bed as though it were a trampoline. “Why aren’t you happy, Stephen?”

Silently, I lifted my hand and pointed at Lance’s, well, you know.

Still jumping, Lance looked downwards and his bouncing came to an abrupt stop. “Oh...um...” He looked at me and blushed furiously. “Well, heh. I guess I got a little excited there.”

“You shouldn’t be embarrassed,” I began as Lance plopped down on the bed next to me. “After all, how many people can say they’ve seen Floppy Lance, right?”

He gently reached out and slapped me across my face. “Only one, Stephen,” he said pointedly. “And that person better believe in keeping his mouth shut.”

“Who me?” I asked innocently, pointing at my chest. Lance chuckled before jumping on top of me and wrestling me backwards onto the bed.

“Uh huh.” He kissed my cheek. “Yeah, you.”

“Aww,” I sighed as Lance moved from my cheek to my forehead. “You’re no fun. I mean, what fun is it if I can’t tell people that I got to see Floppy Lance?”

He looked at me, holding my gaze and keeping a slight smile on his lips as he took in my face. “I could show you something, Stephen.” He leaned over and met my lips in a passionate kiss, before pulling away and speaking softly. “And it’s not exactly floppy.”

Lance then shifted his hips in a way to let me know that what was once floppy, certainly wasn’t anymore. I grinned at his eagerness and tilted my face upward for another kiss. And when we parted, I noticed that Lance was staring into my eyes for a prolonged second.

“You know what?” Lance asked, his voice low and husky as he leaned in and showered a trail of kisses down my cheek. He took my hands and gently forced them over my head, so that he was holding me down. Grinning at the use of restraint, Lance straddled my hips and waited for my answer.


“I love you.”

I smiled back as Lance leaned forward and gently rubbed the tips of his nose against mine. “I know,” I replied, my voice as low as his was. “I love you too.”

::end of chapter::

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated: blissful_confusion@yahoo.com. I should have MSR 56-2 out in a few weeks. Thanks for reading!