good or bad is needed.
The good feed back, strokes our ego. The bad feed back, strokes
the delete key. <grin>
This story can also be found on my web site at:
Frowning, Matt asked, "Who's idea was this?"
"Justin and Lance started talking about seeing you again in Milwaukee. We all wished we could spend more times with you. And Joey told us you had said you would be on vacation in a recent e-mail. So we kind of hatched this plan to have you on tour with us," JC said.
"Did anyone ever think that I may have had plans for this week?" Matt said sharply.
"No. We didn't even think of that," JC said a little stunned.
"Ah Matt. If you had plans, we're sorry. We can have the driver turn around if you want," Justin offered.
"It just would have been nice if someone would have asked me if I wanted to go with you this week."
"If you got some extra time this week, would you like to spend it with us on tour?"
Matt looked around the room at the at the concern faces of his friends. Only Joey's face didn't show concern but his eyes twinkled at the thought of spending a whole week with Matt.
"If I decide to go with you what can I expect this week?" Matt asked.
"Well we are headed for St. Louis," Lance said. "We have Sunday off with concerts on Monday and Tuesday. Then we head to Knoxville for a concert on Friday. We will have two free days there. We will put you on a plane Saturday morning before we head to our next concert."
"You don't have to worry about paying for anything. You will be our guest," Justin said.
"What about sleeping arrangements?" Matt asked.
"You can have a room of your own if you want," JC said. "But we were hoping you'd want to share a room with one of us."
Looking over the group, Matt locked eyes with Chris. "Do I get a choice of a roommate?" Matt asked giving Chris a wink. Chris immediately broke eye contact and started to blush.
"We had kind of figured you and Joey might want to room together," Justin said. "The two of you seem to be talking to each other everyday on the net . But if you'd like you can choose anyone you want for a roommate. A warning though, Chris snores real bad."
Looking over to Joey, Matt asked, "Do you snore?"
"Me? Of course not," Joey said with a grin.
JC held up a hand behind Joey's head indicating just a little.
Matt sat there for a long time not saying anything; thinking about the offer. JC and Chris sat at he edge of their seat waiting for Matt's answer.
Justin, Lance and Joey's faces were shouting `Say yes all ready!'
Shaking his head Matt said, "I don't know. Spending so much time with you all could contaminate my idea of each of you and really screw up my story"
"Matt!!!" Lance shouted in frustration.
"Think of it as field research," Joey suggested.
Matt sat back thinking, drawing out the guys' torture. Looking around the room Matt finally let his face break out in a big grin. "I think it would be an awesome opportunity to get to know each of you better. Yes, Chris. I'd like to spend this next week with you all. Thank you for asking."
The whole group let out a collective sigh of relief.
The trip south was a long one. Matt and the guys talked for a couple hours but just after two Matt's eyes were getting heavy. "Sorry, guys, but I'm not use to these late night hours."
"Why don't I show you where you'll be bunking," Lance asked.
"Night all. See you in the morning," Matt said as he followed Lance out of the lounge.
Lance pointed out where everyone slept. Then indicating the bunk above Joey's, Lance said, "This one will be yours."
"Thanks, Lance. I can't wait to try this out," Matt said as he looked over the bunk with a weary eye.
Laughing Lance said, "It's not that bad. Here is your light and this is your climate control. With the curtain closed you hear almost nothing."
"Thanks, Lance. Ah, what do you guys sleep in?"
"Our underwear," Lance said as he kicked off his shoes and started to remove his pants. "Stick your things in the net pouch on the wall."
"Oh! Okay. Thanks," Matt said as he started to get undressed. "Night."
"Night, Matt," Lance said as he climbed into his bunk.
One by one, Matt heard each of the guys turn in for the night. Matt lay in his bunk and was starting to doze off when he heard the door to the rest room close and someone stop just outside his bunk. Slowly the curtain to his bunk was pulled back. Matt looked up into the smiling face of Joey. Joey looked around the bunk area making sure no one was watching, Joe leaned in and softly kissed Matt good night.
It seemed to Matt that he had just drifted off to sleep when his curtain was pulled back by JC. "Matt, wake up man. We'll be at the hotel soon."
"Oh, okay," Matt mumbled.
After dressing, Matt joined the others in the front of the bus as it pulled up to the hotel.
"We have to wait until security comes for us," Justin explained to Matt.
The security detail emerged from the hotel.
"Time to go," Chris said.
Justin grabbed Matt's arm and guided him along with the others as they entered the hotel and went straight for the elevator.
As they exited the elevator, a member of their management staff who handed out room keys met them. Matt noted that Justin and Lance were sharing the room next door to the one that he and Joey was sharing. Chris and JC had the room across the hall. Luggage arrived ten minutes later and everyone grabbed his bags and headed to their rooms for more sleep.
Once the door was closed and locked Joey finally spoke. "Ah, Matt. Are you pissed at me for not telling you about our plans?"
Walking up to Joey, Matt put his arms around Joey's neck. "No. I'm not mad at you. I just wish you would have said something so I could have packed for a week instead of two days."
Smiling, Joey said, "I've got you covered. The bag that I brought with me is full of your stuff."
"Thanks," Matt said before he rewarded Joe with a kiss.
"Come on, let's get to bed," Joey said as he released Matt.
Looking around the room Matt spotted another door. "Joe, is that door what I think it is?"
"It's the door to Justin and Lance's room. Why?"
Going over to the door, Matt opened it. "I need to talk to them," Matt said as he knocked on the second door.
Justin answered the door. "Hi, Matt, what's up?"
"This is the first chance I've been able to get you two alone. I just wanted to thank you both for what you've done to make this week happen."
"It was everyone's idea to have you come with us this week," Justin protested.
"But someone had to plant that idea. And I think you two were behind it," Matt pointed out.
"We did get the ball rolling," Lance admitted. "The hardest part was getting Chris to suggest that you room with Joey. Once that was accomplished the rest was easy."
"Joey and I appreciate your efforts in our behalf," Matt said as he moved to leave. "I'll let you guys get some rest, I just wanted to say thanks."
Justin stepped up and pulled Matt into a hug. "Night, Matt. Just do us a favor. Try to keep the moaning and groaning down in there. We'd like to be able to get some sleep."
Blushing, Matt said, "I don't think that will be a problem right now. I'm so tired I don't have the energy to fool around."
Lance also gave Matt a hug. "Then get some rest."
"Night, guys," Matt said as he returned to his room.
Joey was coming out of the bathroom as Matt was shutting and locking the adjoining door.
"Everything all right?" Joe asked.
"Yeah," Matt said with a smile. "Those two are awesome friends."
Matt made a quick pit stop in the bathroom. Joey was waiting for him in bed when Matt came out. Instead of joining Joey, Matt went to the other bed and pulled down the covers and climbed in.
"What are you doing?" Joe asked.
"Going to bed. We are room mates, not bed mates, remember?"
"That really sucks," Joey said as he started to pout.
Throwing off the covers Matt quickly climbed into Joey's bed, "We needed both beds to look like they have been slept in," Matt said as he snuggled into Joe's arms.
Matt was dressing when he heard a knock at the door. Picking up Joe's clothes off the bed Matt stuck his head in the bathroom. "Joe, we have company. I'm putting your things on the counter."
"K, thanks," Joe said as he rinsed the shampoo from his hair.
Pulling on his shirt Matt answered the door. "Hi, guys, come on in," Matt said to Chris and JC.
"We were wondering if you were up," JC said.
"Joey is still in the shower," Matt said. "I heard Lance and Justin moving around a little while ago."
"If we can get them over here we can decide what we are going to do today," Chris said.
"That's no problem," Matt walked over to the adjoining door and open it. Giving two mighty raps on the next door.
Lance yelled, "Yes!"
"Lance, it's Matt. You guys come on over when you get dressed. Chris and JC is already here. We need to figure out what we are going to do today."
Chuckling, Chris asked, "Matt, don't you know how to use a telephone?"
"Why? They are just on the other side of the door. Besides I probably made them both jump a foot when I pounded on the door."
Joey came out of the bathroom as the adjoining room door was opened and Lance and Justin entered.
Matt noticed that Justin checked out both beds making sure they had been slept in. Turning to Matt, Justin was met with a grin and a wink.
"What are we going to do today?" Lance asked.
"Your hostage wants to be fed," Matt said.
Looking to JC, Chris asked, "Do we have to feed him?"
"I think there is some law somewhere that kidnap victims must be fed," JC said.
"Remember, Chris, I have the power to give
you a new friend in my story.
"You wouldn't!" Chris said.
"I will if. . you. . . don't. . . feeeeeeeed me!"
After feeding Matt, it was decided that a little shopping was needed and that they would go out dancing that night. At the mall, Matt made it a point when they split up to go with JC.
As they wandered through the mall, they would pass the others shopping. Spotting a music store, they went in to browse. While there, JC was almost recognized by two girls. Matt overheard the girls whispering, "Stacy, I think it's him," one girl told her friend. "It can't be him. What would JC be doing here?" her friend replied.
Moving quickly to JC, Matt grabbed his arm and turning JC to him said loudly, "Damn, Tim. We're here to get something for Mom's birthday not screw around here all afternoon."
JC was confused for a second until he saw
the faces of the girls two racks behind Matt. "Don't you think Mom
would like Snoop Doggy Dog?"
"No!, , , come on. There's a book store down the mall," Matt said as he turned and headed out of the store.
"But, Matt," JC whined. "I'm sure we can find something here."
"Tim! This is the last time I'm going to bring you to town with me," Matt snapped.
As Matt walked down the Mall, JC quickly caught up to him. Matt looked over to see JC smiling face.
"That was close," JC said. "But Tim?"
"It was the first name that came to mind," Matt said. "You're lucky I didn't call you Sue." They shared a laugh as they wandered through the mall.
That night they went to a local dance club where Matt joined everyone on the dance floor. Matt was very self-conscious about his dancing but he tried to keep up with the guys. After an hour of dancing, Matt went in search of something cold to drink. Looking for somewhere quiet, Matt found a table at the edge of the upper balcony overlooking the dance floor.
As Matt looked down on the dancers, Justin and Chris spotted him and they gave him a wave. One by one, the guys spotted Matt and waved.
Taking a sip of his drink Matt noticed a good-looking young man approaching his table. "Is this seat taken?" the newcomer asked.
"No. Help yourself," Matt said as his gaze was drawn to the stranger's eyes.
"The name's Matt Morgan," Matt said offering his hand.
"Nice to meet you, Matt. I'm Steve," the newcomer said in way of introduction. "Morgan, Morgan? . . . . Oh! You're the one traveling with Nsync this week?"
Frowning, Matt asked, "How did you know?"
Laughing, Steve said, "I work for them. I'm the one providing the video for the big screens."
Matt and Steve were deep into conversation when Joey approached their table. The guy Matt was talking to had his back to Joey but his voice stopped Joey dead in his tracks.
Matt looked up and spotted a very pale Joey just a few feet behind Steve. "Hey, Joey," Matt said with a smile.
Steve turned around and seeing Joey said, "Hi, bro. What's up?"
Joey forced a smile onto his face. "I see the two of you have met," Joey said.
"Sure have," Steve said with a grin.
"Not quite. Steve never gave me his last name," Matt said with a raised eyebrow.
As Joey sat down between Matt and Steve, Joey gave Steve a punch in the arm. "Where are your manners? Didn't Mom ever tell you how to introduce yourself?"
"Ouch!" Steve exclaimed, rubbing his arm. Looking at Matt, Steve said, "My name is Steve Fatone. This lummox is my big brother."
It was late when the group returned to the hotel. "Matt, where did you keep disappearing to?" Justin asked.
"I had to take breaks. You guys dance for a living, I don't," Matt said with droopy eyes.
"I hope you didn't get bored," Lance said.
"No. I had a great time. And I made a new friend," Matt said.
"You did. Who did you meet?" Justin said.
"One of your staff. And we were getting to know each other when we were interrupted," Matt said.
"Who interrupted you?" Justin asked with a laugh.
"Joey,:" Matt said.
"He was flirting like a shameless hussy," Joey said with a grin.
"Who was the guy?" Chris asked.
"Steve," Joey said with a grin. "Matt was putting the moves on my brother."
"Really?" JC asked.
"I was not!" Matt nearly shouted. "Steve asked to sit with me. Besides he was only interested in why I was here with you guys."
"What did you tell him?" Chris asked.
"The truth. You guys kidnapped me against my will and are keeping me around as your boy toy," Matt said with a smirk.
"You didn't!" a stunned Chris exclaimed.
Laughing, Matt said, "No, I didn't. I told Steve how we met and that we have become e-mail buddies. And that you guys had asked me if I wanted to spend some time with you this week."
"Shit, man. I almost had a heart attack when you said you were our boy toy," Chris said.
"A guy has to have his dreams," Matt said giving Chris a wink.
Chris turned the deepest shade of red ever seen on a human.
"Well, I'm going to head to bed. I need my beauty sleep," Matt said
Joey kind a snorted at the comment.
"I have a date tomorrow night with your brother," Matt said while poking Joe in the chest.
"You can't. He's working," Joey said.
"I know. Steve invited me to watch the show from the tower," Matt said with a smirk. "Night, guys, see you in the morning."
In their room, as Joey was getting ready for bed, Matt asked, "Joe, is there something wrong?"
"No. Why do you ask?"
"Well your face for one thing. When you found me talking to Steve you looked like you saw a ghost."
"I didn't expect to find you and Steve together."
"Were you ever going to introduce us this week?" Matt asked.
Nodding, Joe said, "I was going to introduce you to Steve tomorrow at sound check."
"Well, we've already met," Matt said as he pulled Joe to him. "And you know if you hadn't come along tonight I may never have made the connection. The only thing the two of you share is your eyes."
"We do have Mom's eyes. The rest of Steve must have come from the postman," Joey said while hugging Matt.
"That's nasty. You do know the reason you two don't look more alike could be that you look like the postman."
"I look like my dad," Joey informed Matt.
"I'll see for myself when you introduce me to your folks."
Joey's smile quickly faded.
Matt saw this. "Sorry, Joe. I didn't mean to push you. I know this is hard on you. Some day, when you are ready, I would love to meet the rest of your family."
"Some day," Joe said with a sigh.
Taking Joe's hand, Matt said, "Come with me." Let's take a shower. I'll let you wash my back."
"Only your back?" Joe asked.
"Oh, . . . Maybe other parts too," Matt said slyly.
Monday was a whirlwind of activity. Matt went with the guys for a breakfast meeting with their management. During breakfast security delivered Matt's Nsync security ID, making it a lot less of a hassle traveling with the guys.
Matt attended their rehearsal and sound check, watching from the control tower with Steve.
Nearing the end of sound check Steve said, "What the hell?"
"What's wrong?" Matt asked.
"Look," Steve said pointing to the massive video monitors.
The monitors were all going wild. Then what looked like a giant fly appeared in the middle of each screen than all of a sudden the fly went splat. A low sinister laugh could be heard over the sound system then a voice said, "Got ya." Then everything went black.
Matt turned to Steve. "I don't remember that in the show."
"It's not in the show."
The sound and lighting engineers were crawling all over the tower looking for the problem. Matt followed Steve to the main control board. "My camera is dead," Steve reported.
"Everything is dead. Audio, video, and lights are down," Jerry the head sound engineer said.
Matt looked at the computer monitor and said, "You have a virus."
"What?" Jerry asked.
"You have a computer virus," Matt said. "It wiped out your hard drive."
"Try rebooting the computer," Matt prompted.
The computer was rebooted and an error message appeared. "O S missing."
"Shit! We're going to have to reload everything," Jerry said.
"It won't work," Matt said. "If you don't do a low level format, the virus will keep wiping out the hard drive."
Jerry got out of his seat and offered it to Matt.
"I'll need a boot disk," Matt said.
Joey and the guys came up to Steve. "What's going on?" Joey asked.
"Computer virus took out the system. Matt's trying to get it back up and working," Steve said.
"Matt, can you get it working for tonight's show?" JC asked.
"I don't know yet. This is going to take some time."
Steve went back to the dressing room to report progress.
"How's it coming?" Joey asked.
"Matt has the operating system up and just finished the virus scan."
"Did it pass?" Justin asked.
"Yeah, the virus is gone," Steve said.
"All Matt has to do is load the software and we are back in business," Chris said.
"It's not that simple. The virus came from somewhere and Matt has to find out where. Matt will have to scan each piece of software before he can load it. And that will take time."
"So we still don't know if there is going to be a show tonight," Lance said.
"No decision has been made. So you guys just go on like there will be a show until you are told different," Steve said. "Don't you have a meet and greet scheduled soon?"
Steve joined the guys at their supper table.
"Well?" Joey asked.
"Matt found out how the virus got into our computer."
"How?" everyone asked.
"It was hidden in two upgrade files. The first half was installed two weeks ago. And the final part was installed yesterday. Matt said it was triggered by a lighting sequence in Giddy Up."
"Is anything working yet?" JC asked.
"Matt has sound up and running. He is working on lighting now."
"Well that's a start," Chris observed.
Justin came into the dressing room after checking on Matt's progress.
"Well?" everyone asked.
"Lights, sound, and video are all up and running. The opening acts should go on as scheduled. Matt said he should have the controls on line for our fly and lifts by eight. Pyro and lasers by nine."
"That's about everything," Chris said.
"Except for the show program. Matt said that it is so large that when we go on he will only have two thirds downloaded," Justin said.
"In other words, we know we can start the show, but we may not be able to finish it," Chris said.
"That's about it," Justin said.
9:30 p.m. Show time.
Hanging above the stage, Joey looked down at the center stage monitor as it came to life with their opening graphics. Looking around at his band mates he saw only smiling faces.
Matt had been working for over seven hours straight when he heard the opening to Bye, Bye, Bye. Looking out at the stage Matt stood and raised his arms in victory. The guys saw Matt and gave him thumbs up while they danced and sang their final number.
After the show Steve found Matt still at the computer working.
"What are you doing?"
"Just finishing up a little something," Matt said as he heard a commotion at the base of the tower.
"Matt, you up there," Justin called.
"Yes!" Matt shouted.
All the guys made their way up the tower.
"Man you saved our butts," JC said.
"Yeah, if you hadn't been here there wouldn't have been a show tonight." Justin said.
"Are you done here," Joey asked.
"Almost. I just needed to make an addition," Matt said.
"What addition?" Lance asked.
Matt pointed to the massive video monitors as he pushed a button. The screens came to life with the closing credits. Near the end between the sound and video staff listings, Matt had inserted "Miracles by Matt Morgan"
"Right!" Chris and Justin yelled.
I borrowed Lance's laptop so I can send you this e-mail. If everything goes as planned my flight should be landing at 12:30 p.m. William is sending the Inn's van to pick me up.
I'll give you a call when I get home.
We are going to a jazz club tonight. I met Joey's brother this week. He works on the tour and I've gotten to spend some time with him this week.
I need to get ready for tonight.
Love and Kisses,
The doors between the two adjoining rooms were open so Matt walked in to return Lance's computer. Lance was on the phone but he hung up when he saw Matt.
"Sorry, Lance, you didn't have to cut your call short," Matt said as he placed the computer on the table.
"I didn't. I was finished with the call," Lance said. "Did you get all your e-mails taken care of?"
"Yep," Matt said. "I need to make a call. Joey is on our phone. May I use yours?"
"Sure. Go ahead," Lance said offering the phone.
Matt dialed the number.
"Hello, Lance?" Jess excitedly answered.
"No. . . Not Lance," Matt said as he looked at Lance.
"Oh. . . Ah. . . . Uncle Matt."
"Jess. I just wanted to tell you to check your e-mail."
"Sure. I will. Are you having a good time?" Jess asked trying to change the subject.
"It's all in my e-mail. I'll be home on Saturday. We can talk more then."
"Oh. . . Okay. . . See you Saturday."
"Bye, Jess, love you," Matt said before hanging up.
Matt turned his attention to Lance who was beet red with embarrassment, having been caught by Matt talking to Jess.
"Lance, I think we need to talk," Matt said.
"Ah, Matt, it's not what you think," Lance said trying to explain.
Matt held up his hand, stopping any further explanation. "Lance, I think I know what's going on here. You like Jess don't you?"
"Yes. I like her a lot."
"Lance, I don't have any problem with you two liking each other or becoming friends."
Lance visibly relaxed at Matt's statement.
"But! I do have a couple concerns."
"What concerns?" Lance asked.
"Your age for one. Lance, you are nine years older than Jess. She is only thirteen."
"I know how old she is. I wasn't planning on doing anything," Lance said in his defense.
"Good! . . . Just remember for the next few years Jess is jail bait. And if anything happens and I find out about it. I will come and get you and when I'm done with you, if you are still alive, your ass is going to jail," Matt said seriously.
"Yes, I understand. You don't have to worry."
"I'm glad we understand each other," Matt said as he started to return to his room. Turning back to Lance, Matt added. "Lance, when Joey comes to visit. You are invited to come with him and stay with me. That way you can spend some time with Jess without sneaking around."
"Thanks, Matt, I will."
Closing the adjoining door Matt found Joe sitting on the bed.
"What's going on?" Joe asked.
"I walked in on Lance talking to Jess."
"Lance hung up the phone the moment he saw me."
"A guilty act," Joe said
"I thought so. So I asked Lance if I could make a call. I called Jess and when she answered she thought it was Lance calling back."
"You nailed them," Joey laughed. "What are you going to do?"
"I can't tell them they can't talk or see each other. It would make them sneak around behind our backs. So I pointed out Lance is nine years older than Jess and if anything happened he could end up in jail."
"I heard you invite Lance to visit when I come calling," Joe said amused at the idea.
"It would be easier to keep an eye on them if I arrange their time together. Otherwise they would be sneaking around and getting into trouble," Matt said.
"Do you think there is really something between them or just simple flirting?" Joe asked.
"I'm hoping it's just flirting," Matt said. "All we can do is see what happens."
The jazz club was fun. JC had called ahead and made arrangements for a large table at the back of the room where they would not be bothered.
"Josh, why the big table?" Lance asked.
"Steve, said he might stop by with a friend," Josh said.
About an hour later, Steve showed up with a pretty blonde named Stacy, who worked in wardrobe.
Good music and good conversation took everyone late into the night.
Matt's final full day with his friends started out like most concert days, with a breakfast meeting with management, then off for interviews with the local rock station. After arriving at the arena for a quick lunch they were then off to a rehearsal with one of their choreographers.
While the guys were off rehearsing Matt took the opportunity to get a close up look at their stage. Matt walked up the large semicircular ramp at the rear of their stage, stopping at the top looking out at the arena. Down on the main stage Matt was looking at the treadmills poking his foot at one of them.
"Want to try it?" came a voice from off stage
Matt looked up to see Steve walking toward him.
"What?" Matt asked.
The conveyor belts came to life and Steve stepped on one and glided to Matt. "Go ahead and try it," Steve said.
With a big grin Matt stepped on the moving belt and glided across the stage. At the end, he stepped on the other belt and glided back to Steve.
Laughing, Matt said, "That was fun."
"Yeah, I think most everyone has played on them at one time or another. We almost didn't get them. Management was trying to cut costs and was not going to use them when Joey went in and talked them back into them."
Matt was looking at the five circles just behind the conveyor belts.
"Want to try them?" Steve asked.
Matt nodded with a big smile.
"Stand in the middle of the circle," Steve said as Matt moved to one of the circles. "A safety bar will be coming up behind you; just hold on to it."
Looking behind him Matt saw the safety bar come up then the whole circle started to rise. The platform stopped and Matt looked down. "Shit! This is high," Matt said as the platform started back down.
"Ok, I've seen how high the stage is and I've seen how high they go up. Steve how do you do it?" Matt asked.
Steve smiled and leaned in close, "It's magic."
The rehearsal was done and the guys walked on to the stage adjusting their mics.
"Steve, have you seen Matt?" Joey asked.
Smiling, Steve pointed behind the guys. Turning around they saw Matt come swooping down at them from above, landing next to Chris laughing.
"Are you having fun?" Justin laughed.
"You bet," Matt said as he pushed off and somersaulted three times before landing again.
Matt watched the final show from the tower with Steve. And during the final number he watched the crowd around him. Totally amazed at the affect his friends had on forty thousand fans.
Late that night Joey awoke to find Matt was not next to him. "Matt," Joey softly called out. Hearing a sniffle, Joe looked to the chair at the foot of his bed. "Are you all right?"
"No," Matt said softly shaking his head.
Joey went to Matt and knelt down in front of him. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, . . . I'm just being silly."
"Is it about leaving tomorrow?" Joe asked.
Matt nodded. "Joe, this week has been fantastic. This has been the longest time we have spent together. And I don't want it to end."
"I don't want it to end either. But you have a job to get back to."
"I know. I hate that job," Matt said with disgust.
"Hey, you only have nine more weeks to go. Then you can come down to Orlando for a long visit."
"I know. Nine long weeks without seeing you."
"You never know who may pop in on you."
"Joe, I was at this morning's meeting . Your schedule is so full between now and the first of the year."
Pulling Matt to him, Joey softly said, "I know. Both of our schedules suck. But we can get through this. And do you know why?"
Matt nodded, "Because our love is so strong."
"You got it. Whatever life may throw at us. Our love for each other will keep us strong," Joey said pulling Matt tight. "Come on back to bed."
"Will you hold me?" Matt asked.
"Of course," Joe said as lead Matt back to the bed.
Matt snuggled into Joey's arms. "Joe."
"Thanks for this week. You may never know how much this week has meant to me," Matt said.
"I think I know. Having you around this week has meant a lot to me too. . . Now try and get some rest," Joe urged.
"I love you, Joe," Matt said softly.
"I love you too, Matt," Joe said giving the top of Matt's head a kiss.
The weeks passed quickly. Thanksgiving came and went. Matt talked with Joe daily. Matt was on his final tour of the state when he was paged. Pulling off the expressway Matt parked at a near by restaurant. Dialing the number, it was picked up on the second ring. "Hello."
"Matt. Good you called."
"What's wrong? Why did you page me?"
"Joey has been in a bad mood all day. And I thought a call from you might snap him out of it," Justin explained.
Thinking for a moment Matt asked, "Where are you?"
"New York. We've just finished a photo shoot and we are going to head back to the hotel.
"Who is we?" Matt asked.
"Lance, Joey and me are headed back to the hotel. Chris and JC have meetings across town."
"How long before your limo arrives?"
"It's here now. We should be on our way in five minutes."
"Okay, I'll wait ten minutes before I call Joe.
Joey and the guys were stuck in midtown
traffic not going anywhere fast.
"Hey, sexy," Matt cooed.
"Matt!" Joey said with a grin.
"Boy, do I miss you."
"I miss you too. Where are you? You sound funny," Joe asked.
"I'm sitting in my car at a rest area. I'm on my way back to Joliet."
"You going to be home tonight?"
"Yeah. But it's going to be late. I have to make a spot check at the casino down town before I go home."
"Give me a call when you get home," Joey said softly.
"I will if it's not too late," Matt said. "Joe."
"I've been thinking about you all day. I'm so horny right now I could scream if I don't do something about it."
"What are you doing?" Joe asked not sure what to expect.
"Well. . . . I'm here in my car thinking about what I want to do with you next time you come to visit. . . . Do you know what I want?" Matt asked seductively.
"Ah, I ah," Joe stammered.
Justin elbowed Lance as they watched Joey talk to Matt. The conversation had become one sided with Joey not saying much. As they watched Joey, he began to squirm in his seat.
"Matt. Why are you doing this?" Joe whispered.
"Joe, are you hard too?" Matt asked.
"Ah, kind of," Joe said trying to find a comfortable way to sit.
"Good. Joe, this call was brought to you by your good friends Justin and Lance," Matt chuckled.
Looking over at his grinning friends Joe said, "I'm going to hurt them so bad."
"Just don't leave any visible marks," Matt warned.
"Oh. I won't," Joe said glaring at his friends.
"Morning, Joey," Lance said looking up from the morning paper.
"Morning," Joey mumbled. "Where is everyone?"
"Chris and Josh left about a half hour ago. They said they were going to meet a couple girls they meet last night. I don't expect to see them until tomorrow. And Justin just went to his room for something."
Justin came bounding into the room and stopped short when he saw Joey. "Damn, Joe. You look like shit,"
"Good morning to you too, Justin," Joey sarcastically said.
"Sorry, Morning, Joe. You look like you didn't sleep all night," Justin observed.
"I didn't get much sleep. I was waiting for Matt to call but he never called."
"That's not like him," Justin said. "Did you try his apartment?"
Nodding, Joey said, "I tried it a little while ago. No answer. And I can't get him on his cell, he has it turned off."
"That's strange. Joe, what was Matt doing last night?" Lance asked.
"He said he was headed back to Joliet when we talked. He had one more stop to make at one of the casinos in Joliet. He said it was just a spot check and that he was going to be home late last night."
"Maybe his spot check turned up something and he ended up doing a full inspection," Justin offered.
"That's possible," Joe agreed.
"Joe, did you try calling the Inn? Maybe someone there knows what's up with Matt," Lance said.
"Good idea," Joe said as he dialed the number.
"Good morning. Lincoln Way Inn, this is Sharon how may I help you."
"Morning, Sharon. This is Joey Fatone. Is Mr. Biggs in yet?"
"Ah, he sure is. Let me transfer your call," Sharon said as she put Joey on hold. Sticking her head into the office, "Ah, Mr. Biggs. You have a phone call on line one. It's Joey Fatone."
Looking at the phone with dread, Will picked up the phone. "Ah, Joey."
"Morning, Will. Have you seen Matt this morning? I've been trying to get hold of him all morning."
"Ah, Joey where are you?" Will asked.
"I'm in New York. Why?"
"Joey you need to get here as soon as possible," Will said.
"Why, what's wrong? Has something happened to Matt?" Joe asked with his heart racing.
"Joey, Matt was involved in a head on crash last night," Will said.
"Noooo!" Joey wailed.