Okay, well this one didn't take quite as long as the last one.  Yeah, it took long enough, but it is here now, so quit complaining!  Well, this one may not be quite what you were expecting, considering the ending of the last chapter, but hey, it's my story and you know where the feedback links are!  (At the end of the story, so READ IT FIRST!)
Yeah ... I know you know this, but someone could have forgotten: the characters in this story are just that, characters, and even though they may bear a striking resemblance to the members of *NSYNC ... they're not them! This work also doesn't pretend to imply ... ok it does pretend ... but it's not meant to be truly indicative of the actual personalities or sexual orientations of any of the group's members or any real person. Okay, enough of that....
You know, y'all really should've written me more....

Nightmare Before Dawn

Chapter 10

JC's jeep pulled into the drive as Lance was opening his front door. He waited just inside the door as JC and Melissa got out and walked up to meet him.

"Thanks again for letting us stay over, Scoop," JC told him as he closed the door behind them.

"No problem, guys. You know you're welcome to come over anytime, besides I like having Mel over, she's fun," Lance said, showing them into the living room. JC stopped in his tracks, turning to give Lance a dirty look. Lance responded with a mischievous grin, then told them, "I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to have to catch up on some paperwork before I can even think about going to sleep."

All of them sat down for a moment, and talked about Justin's new relationship. Melissa was cuddled up to JC's side, with his arm wrapped around her shoulders. "Well personally, I was really impressed with Mac," she said. "Not many people could handle the way you guys tease."

"I have no idea what you're talking about, how 'bout you Lance?" JC said, winking at Lance, who was covering his mouth with his hand to hide his grin. "Besides, Lew seems to handle it fairly well."

"That may be, but then again Lew knows how to take you down when you get out of hand," Melissa said. "I seem to remember several stories about all of you getting into trouble from time to time. Come to think of it, there was this one story about you trying to play hookie from classes, and being caught in a certain young woman's dressing room?"

JC's eyes widened, "Uh ... oh ... no, he didn't." About that time, JC was feeling a bit uncomfortable, wondering just how much of that story Lew had revealed to Melissa. "Uh ... what all did he tell you?"

"Oh ... enough," she said, grinning wickedly. It was Melissa's turn to wink at Lance as she watched him do his best to keep from laughing outright.

JC tightened his arms around her, and whispered in her ear, "Have you ever wondered just how much Rob has told me about you?"

Melissa suddenly sat up and turned toward him. "Uh, nevermind."

"Well, I believe it's time for me to head off. I'll be in my room, hip deep in paperwork if y'all need me," Lance said, as he got up and headed toward his room. "I think it'd be a good idea to leave before the real fireworks start, anyway." Lance hurried his pace as a pillow came flying in his direction. "And don't leave too big a mess down here, my mom's coming for a visit next week ... she'll blame me for it!" Lance yelled, as he picked up a stack of papers then continued down the hall.

JC smiled, shaking his head as he went to retrieve the pillow before coming back to sit beside Melissa. He plopped back down on to the couch and pulled Melissa back into his arms. They sat there enjoying the peace for a bit before he said, "So, what was that little thing between you and Lynn as we were leaving?"

"What little thing?" Melissa asked, snuggling down against his chest. She began stroking the arm he had wrapped around her stomach. Her thoughts were on him and what little time they actually got to spend together, and not on her talk with Lynn.

JC squeezed her tighter, "I saw you two whispering something to one another as we were leaving." He was grasping at straws, looking for something to take his mind of what he wanted to be doing with his love. This was their first real opportunity for time alone together, and though he wanted to be with Melissa, there were still many things he was unsure of.

"Oh, it was nothing. I just told her thanks again for what she said to us," she said. "Josh, there's nothing to worry about. It was great to hear her support our relationship, that's all." She turned to look up into his eyes. "Now, why are we talking about Lynn?" She could feel some tension working its way into his arms, but she was not going to let that happen. Pushing herself up, she sat next to him and pulled him over into her arms, then laid back on the couch with JC ending up draped over her. "There are more interesting things to talk about, I'm sure," she said, smiling up at his astonished face.

Ever since the attack, JC had been skittish about the physical side of their relationship. A word here or an action there would have him tensing up and pulling back from her, and she could stand it no more. That woman had hurt him enough. It was time to break the cycle. Now, her only worry was breaking the cycle, without breaking JC.

JC rested his forearms to either side of Melissa's head while his body fit nicely against hers. "So, what are these other more interesting things?" JC said, his eyes turning more passionate. The quickness of Melissa's actions had kept him from allowing his mind to dwell on the past, and kept him firmly planted in the present.

"Oh ... I don't know," Melissa said, as she lightly traced the muscles of his back. "Though, I do believe that exploring those possibilities would be easier in that ... large bed ... we have waiting for us in the guest room." Melissa pushed her hips up into greater contact with his and he responded by grinding into her slowly.

"Ya know, I think you might have something there," he said a little breathlessly.

Melissa gasped at the contact, "I think you have something there, too. How about we move this to the guest room."

JC moved himself off Melissa, reached down to take her hand, then pulled her up beside him. Cupping her face in his hands, he brought her mouth to his for a tender kiss. The passion that stole over him came from deep within, a part that had been closed off after the attack. It was the pure emotion he felt whenever Melissa had been in his arms, and it began to burn brightly as he drew her along after him to the bedroom.

They entered the room and JC immediately closed the door after them. He drew her into his arms again as he walked her backwards toward the waiting bed. His hands cushioned their fall onto the springy mattress as his body nestled into the curves of his love. Reaching down beside him, he grasped her knee and gently pulled her leg up to surround his hips, then repeated the action with her other limb. He pressed his manhood against her, loving the gasping moan she released into his mouth.

The need he felt in his body told him how he had been longing for this moment, needing to feel her responding to him with the passion he ignited within her. His hands moved over her frame as hers began stealing over his. They each wanted the other naked in their arms.

With tender kisses and soft caresses, JC pulled himself away long enough to move Melissa farther up on the bed and begin removing the clothing restricting his exploration of her body. She moaned under his hands as he divested her of everything concealing her tempting form. Soon, she was lying beneath him gloriously naked and she began working on his garments.

Her hands moved over his muscular chest and abdomen as her hands sought the bottom of his shirt. She pulled the material up and over his head, then threw it aside. JC sucked in a quick breath when her fingertips lightly grazed his nipples as her hands descended once again. Upon reaching the waistband of his pants, Melissa eased her fingers under it and rubbed the softer skin above his groin.

JC breathed hard as her nimble fingers unbuttoned his jeans and lowered the zipper. She pushed the jeans off his hip, then slipped her hands beneath the waistband of his boxers. Her hands moved around to his back and she slowly lowered her hands under the boxers until she held his tight buttocks in her hands. She squeezed his cheeks, kneading them with her hands, before bringing her hands back toward his manhood. JC sucked in another laboring breath as her hands came around his hips and began sensually brushing closer to his shaft. Gently taking it in her hand, she closed her fingers around his hard length.

His breath rushed out of him in a long, low groan and he slowly laid down beside her. Melissa stroked him tenderly while she watched his eyes close as he gave himself over to the sensations she was creating. She leaned up and kissed him lovingly, then released him long enough to divest him of his remaining clothes.

When she sat back up next to him, JC grabbed her quickly and pulled her over onto him. A startled sound escaped her as she found herself on top of him, her legs straddling his hips. She pushed herself up and looked into his eyes before moving to sit up the rest of the way. As she sat up, she drug her fingers down his chest, her nails lightly grazing his skin.

Suddenly, she was pushed violently away and JC shot up from the bed and ran out of the room. Melissa clung to the side of the bed, trying to keep from landing on her head. She maneuvered her legs over the side of the bed and landed with a thump in a heap beside it. Pulling herself togther, she thought, Oh my God, what did I do? Oh God, Josh! Out in the hall, a door closed and Melissa headed toward the sound at a dead run, not noticing that Lance had opened his door a bit upon hearing the sound.

Once inside the bathroom, JC leaned against the door briefly, then moved over to the sink. He felt as though he was either going to throw up or scream. Images paraded through his mind, nightmarish memories of the woman who had stolen his peace of mind when she raped his body. Leaning down over the sink, JC turned on the cold water and splashed his face several times before venturing to look into the mirror. The eyes staring back at him were filled with fear that changed to revulsion as he realized what he had done to Melissa. Oh my God! I could have killed her throwing her like that. This has got to stop ... I can't let what that woman did ruin my life with Mel!

From his doorway, Lance watched Melissa as she stopped before the bathroom door. His heart felt as if it would shatter as he watched her place her hand on the closed door. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and her face held a look of utter sorrow. She leaned toward the door, gently placing her other hand upon the wood, then her forehead.

Lance turned away from the sight and quickly crossed the room to pick up his robe, then headed back toward the door. Quietly, he walked out into the hallway and came up behind Melissa. Her dejection was so consuming that she never heard his approach. Lance gently wrapped his robe around her shoulders and gripped them tightly a moment before she turned toward him. All the pain of the world was held in the eyes that met his. He pulled her into his embrace and held the sobbing woman until she pushed gently away.

She attempted a smile of thanks, but the pain wrenching through her held it at bay. "What am I going to do?" she asked him in little more than a whisper. Her throat closed around the words, strangling them.

"I wish I knew," Lance replied, as he brushed away the wisps of hair that had fallen across her face and stuck in her tears. "Let me take you back to the bedroom." He looked at the bathroom door, picturing in his mind the torment his friend was reliving. "Josh may be in there for a while and this hall's drafty. You should stay warm."

"No!" she said, more forcefully than she had meant. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean ... I ... I need to stay here. I want to be here for him when he comes out." Her eyes pleaded with his for understanding, and he smiled slightly and nodded.

"It's gonna be okay, Mel," he said with more conviction than he felt at the moment. "If you like, I'll wait with you."

Melissa took his hand, that had remained on her shoulder, and squeezed it. "You go on back to bed. I'll take care of Josh." The brave smile she put on her face attested to the strength within her and Lance returned one of his own.

"If you need me, I'll be in my room," he said, as he gently brushed her face with the back of his fingers, removing the tears she had tried to stop from falling. "He loves you, I know he does. Everything is going to work out. Be strong for him ... and for yourself." Lance hugged her once more before turning back toward his room.

Lance walked into his room, closed the door softly behind him, and sat on the side of the bed. Please, Lord, help them. They love each other so much. Lance lowered his head to his hands, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to break free. He had watched his friend deal with the attack and its after effects for the last few months, and now it seemed that everything was coming to a breaking point. Either Josh would work beyond it and come back to Melissa or their love would shatter, and there wasn't a thing Lance could do to protect either of them.

Out in the hallway, Melissa leaned against the door again, listening for sounds from inside the bathroom. She could hear JC's harsh breathing and longed to go to him and comfort him. Softly, she called out to him, "Josh ... baby ... are you alright?"

At the sound of her voice, JC looked over at the bathroom door. He ached with the desire to take her into his arms and clear away the pain he heard in her words. Crossing over to the door, he gently placed his hands on it, somehow knowing she was doing the same.

"I'm sorry, baby. I'm so sorry," she said, her voice laced with tears. "I ... I didn't mean to ... I don't..."

JC's heart slammed against the walls of his chest. Oh God, No! Quickly, he opened the door, and saw Melissa's tear stained face. Pulling her into his arms, he held her close and rubbed his hands over her back as her tears wet his skin. Easing her away enough to look into her eyes, he said, "It's not your fault ... none of this was. Don't believe for one minute that it ever could be."

Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears as she searched his. Slowly, her hands reached up to tenderly caress his cheeks. "Are you okay?"

A warm smile spread across his lips as he brought them down close to hers. "I'm going to be," he said, then kissed her gently. Releasing her lips, JC leaned down, picked her up and carried her to the bedroom.

After shutting the door with his foot, JC walked over to the bed and carefully laid her upon it. His heart swelled with the love he shared with this wonderful woman. Without thought, his hands came up and caressed her face, wiping away the tears. Her face turned to his palm and she placed a kiss upon it. JC leaned down and took her lips in a sensual kiss that had both of them fighting for breath when he pulled away. "Stay right there," he said, as he moved away from the bed. "I'll be right back."

JC crossed the room and turned off the light that Melissa had switched on as she ran out of the room earlier, then came back to the bed. Easing himself down next to her, he pulled her close, molding her body to his. As he moved to take her mouth with his own, he stopped and looked deeply into her eyes. The moonlight coming in the window caressed her face, and allowed him to see the love in her smile. "I love you, Melissa ... nothing is going to change that," he said, then burned the words into her heart with his kiss.

Slowly, his hand moved down from her face, skimming over the skin of her neck. Tracing a path down between, her breasts he gradually eased the robe from her. When his hand encountered the tied belt, he loosened it, then pulled the material away.

Melissa leaned away from JC to pull her arms from the sleeves, while he eased the robe from beneath her. After throwing it over the side of the bed, he laid her back, following her down to the bed. Gently, he placed his leg between her knees, bringing his thigh up to rub against her. His hand stroked over her hip as he slowly moved up her side. His fingers moved over her skin, lightly caressing it.

His eyes followed the path he blazed until Melissa caught his chin with her hand and pulled his mouth down to hers. The moment their mouths joined, the fire ignited between them once again. JC's hand moved up to take hold of her breast, kneading and caressing its softness. Gasping quietly into his mouth, Melissa wove her fingers into the soft strands of his hair and raised her leg to rub it against his.

JC laid himself down over her allowing their bodies to rub sensually. Sliding his hand under her neck, he caressed the nape, then held the back of her head as he kissed her passionately. His other hand moved down from her breast, gently trailing across her taught stomach. He could feel her muscles jump beneath her skin as he traced over her.

Her hands moved over him, lightly stroking over his back and down over the arm that was descending over her body. As his hand moved farther down her abdomen, her breath caught in her throat. His hand entered the curls covering her womanhood and she moaned softly into his mouth. Covering the curls completely, his hand ground against her, eliciting a louder cry of pleasure from her. Her hand which had been slowly making its way down his arm suddenly found his hand and held it tightly against her, while her other hand pulled gently on his hair.

JC groaned softly as he rubbed his shaft against her hip. He loved the way her body felt. Her movements were unconsciously sensual as he pleasured her with the finger he slowly sank into her warm recesses. Her body was quickly building to her climax. When JC sank a second finger into her softness, Melissa jerked up from the bed melding her body to his as she shook with her orgasm.

Continuing his gentle possession of her womanhood, he slowed his movements as her breathing quieted a bit. He wanted to pleasure her all night, though his throbbing member was making concentrating on the notion difficult. While she calmed under his touch, he moved his mouth down over her chin to her throat, then farther on to her breasts. Her hands had come up to clutch at his shoulders as she shuddered under him, now she once again began running them over him. Slowly, her hand drifted down over his chest and abdomen to tease the head of his member pressed hotly against her hip. Wanting to take the entire length in her hand, she began to ease her hip away, but was forestalled as JC gripped her thigh with his leg and held her in place.

Her eyes opened suddenly and she found him grinning down at her. A smile spread across her lips as understanding dawned in her mind. This was his time, and he was going to be in control. His fingers drove inside of her unexpectedly, and her back arched up from the bed. JC continued the driving motion until she was breathless once again. After watching the passion light her eyes, his head lowered and he took her nipple into his mouth, sucking on it.

Though Melissa wanted to give him all the time he needed, and was enjoying his attention completely, she wanted to feel him buried deep within her. Her hand moved over to the night stand and opened the drawer. JC looked up from where he was feasting upon her as he saw her hand go toward the side of the bed. Watching her open the drawer, he leaned up looking at her questioningly. Her hand dipped into it, quickly, and came back to JC. In her hand, he saw the small packet she had retrieved.

Gazing back into her eyes, he nodded and slowly pulled his hand from within her. He leaned back enough to allow her to roll the contents of the packet over his throbbing shaft. At the first touch of her hand on him, his head fell back and he shuddered, a deep moan issuing from his mouth.

Having completed her task, Melissa's hand moved up over his abdomen as he pushed her gently back to the bed. Her hands came around his sides as he moved over her, placing his other leg between hers. JC's hand ran down her side, then on to her knee as he raised her leg to wrap around his hips. As she brought her other leg up, JC grabbed her hip and slowly sank into her. Her tight sheath welcomed his entrance and held him. Neither of them breathed as he completed his controlled thrust.

Fully within her, he laid down, resting his weight upon her. He pulled her hands from his back and gently laid them on the bed, as he traced his way from her elbows to her palms. He looked deeply into her eyes as their fingers entwined, then kissed her.

With slow movements, he circled his hips before pulling out, only to thrust deep insider her again. He began a deep, sensual rhythm within her, all the while keeping their hands laced and their eyes connected. He wanted to see what his loving was doing to her; he wanted to see the flare of desire in her eyes as he drove her closer to ecstacy.

Their steady progression became wilder as each felt the burning desire to reach fulfilment. Their breathing was shattered and their moans and cries filled the room. As the head of his shaft moved over her most sensitive internal area, she shuddered and cried out. Her inner walls gripped him tightly as she came closer to her climax.

The feeling of her holding him within her, brought on a flurry of quick thrusts that rocketed them both to the brink of ecstacy, then threw them headlong over the cliff. JC's back arched as a cry was ripped from his throat. In the same instant, Melissa screamed her climax. His hips thrust forward, driving him into her fully. His energy spent, JC collapsed onto her sweating form with his own equally wet body.

After a few minutes, JC kissed her gently as he eased himself out of her and slowly laid down beside her. He took a few seconds to rid himself of the protection they had used before pulling her into his arms. Melissa cuddled against his side, her head on his shoulder, and her hand over his heart. Looking up at his face, she saw a tear slowly trail over his cheek. He looked down into her eyes and she saw the love and happiness he felt shining there. He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her deeply before easing her head down on his shoulder once again.

Across the hall, a blonde head peaked out from beneath the pillow which had been firmly held over it minutes before. Lance's head swivelled around as he listened for any tell-tale sounds. Realizing that the quiet was there to stay, he pulled the pillow under his head. A happy smile graced his face as his eyes closed. Thank you, he said, glancing at the ceiling before going to sleep.

Copyright © 2001 Virtual Phantom ... All Rights Reserved