Part III: Mississippi
"Good morning Sarah." Lance said walking into his office. His receptionist looked up at him and smiled. "How are you this morning?"
"I am doing well." She stood up and followed him into his office. "How are you?"
"Just fine. Lauren has a fever so this morning was stressful." He smiled.
"Well that's too bad," Sarah sighed and changed the subject, "You have a conference call with Mr. Wells from JIVE at 10:30."
"Thanks." He smiled and took his lap top out of its carrying case and set it on his desk. "Let me know when he calls."
"I will." Sarah started to walk out of the room and then stopped, "Oh your Mom called and she was going to stop by for lunch today around noon."
"Okay." Lance sat down as his computer booted up. Sarah walked out of the room and sat back down at her desk.
"Lance." Lance looked up when he heard his Mom's voice. He smiled and stood up. Lance walked around the desk to give her a hug.
"How are you?" He asked kissing her cheek.
"I'm just fine." Diane answered, "Are you ready to go out?"
"Yeah, let me shut down. Where do you want to go eat?" Lance asked curiously. He turned his laptop around on the desk and shut it down quickly.
"Anywhere will be fine." His Mom answered. "How are the girls doing?" She asked as he grabbed his wallet and they walked out of his office.
"Alison is doing good and Elizabeth is her usual self. Lauren had a fever this morning." He said as he opened the door for her to walk out.
"Well that's too bad." Diane smiled. Lance unlocked the doors to the SUV and they both got in. He started the vehicle and then headed out to the lot.
"Lance, Janie Kirkpatrick is on line one for you." Sarah said over the intercom. There was only one Janie that he knew. Lance smiled and picked up the phone.
"Kirkpatrick? Are you crazy Janie?" Lance asked with a laugh.
"You guys always thought I was a little eccentric." Janie smiled. "Anyway Chris and I are planning on having a little get together at the end of June. So if you can come to Pennsylvania we'd love it."
Lance dug around on his desk for his calendar and opened it up to June. "So June 28th?" He asked.
"Yeah." Janie answered. Lance wrote it down on the calendar. "I will send out more information later. So an e-mail address or home address would be great."
"Only if I can get your number." Lance smiled.
"Of course." The exchanged information, "You wouldn't happen to know how I could get a hold of Joey do you."
"Yeah his home number is-" Lance rattled it off. "Is Chris around?"
"No. He's working." Janie answered," I have to go. But if you want to talk to Chris he'll be home around six."
"All right. I'll talk to you later then," Lance hung up. He looked at his watch and realized that he had a meeting in five minutes with one of his artists. Lance grabbed the paperwork he needed and walked out of his office.
"I'll be in a meeting with John," He stated and then headed to the conference room down the hall. "Sorry I'm a little late." Lance said as he walked into the room, "I got caught up on the phone." He set the file folder on the table top and reached over and shook John Woods's hand.
"What are we doing today?" John asked as he leaned back in the chair. Lance sat down and pulled out a couple of packets of paper. He handed one to John.
"Your schedule for the next three months," Lance answered and leaned back in his chair too.
"You leave Monday for New York and an appearance on Leno that night. Tuesday through Friday you will have interviews for papers and magazines and photo shoots along with those. Friday I will meet you out there. Saturday is the special on MTV and you will have off on Sunday. Monday is more interviews and the Today show, and that night is the CD release party. Tuesday you are on MTV again "
Lance looked down at Elizabeth as she ran into kitchen when he came in from the garage. Her little arms wrapped around his legs. Lance grinned.
"Hi Daddy!" The little girl smiled excitedly since he was home for the night.
"Hey Bethy," Lance picked her up and kissed her cheek. "How was your day?"
"It was good." She giggled and then wiggled to be put down. Lance let her slide down and watched as she ran off into the living room.
"Hey Alison," Lance said. His wife was standing at the stove cooking their dinner.
"How was your day?" Alison asked with a smile. She turned around for a second with a smile on her face.
"Busy as usual." He answered and set his bag down on the hall floor. "I got an interesting phone call today."
"Really?" She asked curiously. Lance sat down at the counter.
"Yeah." He reached for a carrot and popped it in his mouth. "My PR, well old PR Janie, she did *N Sync stuff she called." Lance paused, "Her and Chris are married. They are having all of us out to Pennsylvania the last weekend in June." Alison nodded and waited for him to continue. "I told her we would plan on coming."
"All right." Alison smiled, "That sounds like fun." She picked up the cutting board and walked over to the stove. "Will you wake Lauren up?"
"Yeah. How is she feeling?" Lance asked as he got off the stool.
"Her fever is gone down. But she still isn't eating." Alison answered. Lance sighed; he didn't like it when one of his daughters wasn't feeling well. He walked out of the kitchen and headed up the stairs. Lance walked into Lauren's room and smiled seeing her standing up in her crib.
"Dadadada." She grinned showing her two front teeth.
"Hey Lauren." He picked up the little girl and kissed her forehead. "How are you feeling?" She rested her head on his shoulder as he walked out of the room. He brought his hand up to her forehead and sighed after feeling that it was still warm.
"You still feel bad?" Lauren nodded against his shoulder. "You'll be okay." He headed down the stairs and back into the kitchen. Lance sat down at the table with her in his arms.
"Is she still warm?" Alison asked walked over to them.
"Yeah." Lance nodded and took the sippy-cup with apple juice in it from her. He handed it to Lauren who reached for it right away. "Got it?" She took a sip and then handed it back to Lance.
"Are you hungry sweetheart?" Lance asked as Alison set down a small bowl of macaroni and cheese for her. Lauren looked at the dish as Lance picked up the spoon. He held it in front of her mouth. "Have a few bites at least." She took the first bite and chewed slowly. "Good?"
"No." Lauren mumbled with her mouth full. She buried her head in his chest still chewing. Lance brought his hand up to her head and rubbed the soft hair on her head. He smiled.
Later that night Lance was sitting on the couch waiting for Alison to come down with Elizabeth. Elizabeth came running down the stairs with a towel wrapped around her. She jumped up onto the couch next to Lance and snuggled up next to him. Lance laughed as her wet hair rubbed against his arm.
"Beth Nicole!" Alison yelled and appeared at the top of the stairs. Elizabeth giggled as Lance got up off the couch and picked her up.
"Come on Bethy you need to get your jammies on and then we can watch some TV." Lance wrapped the towel around her tighter as he approached the stairs. "I'll take care of this." He said to Alison and gave her a quick kiss before disappearing into Elizabeth's room.
Lance turned his phone on when the flight attendant gave the okay. He waited for the plane to clear out before he stood up and got his bag from the overhead compartment. His cell phone rang just as he was walking through the door.
"Lance." He answered not even checking the screen to see who it was.
"What's up man?" Lance smiled hearing Joey's voice over the phone.
"Not much really." He said walking through the hall to the terminal. "I just landed in New York. John has a few appearances and his CD release is this weekend."
"That's fun stuff." Joey said, "How long are you up there for? I come in on Monday maybe we can get together." He suggested.
"I'll have to see if I'm free. I leave Wednesday morning." Lance stated. He found his way out of the airport and got a taxi. "Plaza Hotel," He said to the driver. "Why are you coming up?"
"I have Promos for a new movie. Junk like that." Joey answered with a smile. "So did you get a call from Janie?"
"Yeah," Lance answered. "Are you going to go? Alison and I are planning on going."
"Uh-huh. Can you believe that she and Chris are together?" Joey laughed.
"I know. That's a little crazy." Lance stated and glanced at his watch, "Hey I have to go. Call me Monday when you get in and I'll see what I can do."
"Will do. Talk to ya later."
"Bye." Lance laughed and hung up. He dialed his home number to let Alison know that he had made it. "Hey girls, just calling to check in. I guess you're out having fun. I'll call you later. Love you." Lance said when the answering machine came on. The taxi pulled up to the hotel just as he was hanging up. He unbuckled his seatbelt and pulled his wallet out.
Lance paid the driver before getting out and then reached in and grabbed his bag. He walked into the hotel and up to the front desk.
"Good morning." The concierge smiled.
"Morning," Lance said. "I need to check into my room and find out what room John Woods is in."
"And you name is?"
"Lance Bass." He answered. "It should be for five nights."
"It is Mr. Bass. You will be in room 512. How are you going to pay for this?" The concierge asked. Lance completed the transaction and was handed the key. "Oh and Mr. Woods is in room 510."
"Thank you," Lance said.
"Let us know if you need anything while you are here." Lance nodded and then walked away from the desk. He headed towards the elevators and hit the up button. After settling into his room, Lance called John's cell phone.
"Hey Joey it's great to see you again." Lance said as the two men hugged. They finally had a chance to meet up with each other late Tuesday night.
"It is." Joey agreed as they walked into the hotel restaurant together. The two of them got a table and sat down. "So how are the girls doing?"
"They are good. Elizabeth is going to start school in the fall. I can't believe how fast that went. And Lauren was sick all last week so that wasn't fun." Lance smiled as he talked about his two daughters.
"And Alison?" Joey asked.
"She's doing good too. I'm thinking she wants to go back to work after Elizabeth starts school." Lance answered.
"That's understandable." Joey nodded. "Thanks for sending Brianna those CDs for her birthday. She was so excited about them." The waitress came up and took their drink orders and then left them to their conversation. "Can you believe that she is thirteen?"
"Of course not," Lance laughed. "And how are Michael and McKenna doing?"
"Brats." Joey answered with a laugh, "Getting bigger and more troublesome every day. But you gotta love them." Lance nodded in agreement. Both of them took a minute out of their conversation to look over their menus. When the waitress came back with their drinks, she took their orders.
"So what do you think everyone else has been up to over the past eight years?" Lance asked after their food had been brought out.
Joey shrugged, "We know Chris has been doing his stuff for the record label. And obviously Justin is still doing his thing. And we know what the two of us have been up to."
"So JC is the only one we know nothing about?" Lance sighed, "I wonder how Janie is going to find him " He stated thoughtfully.
"She'll find him, but whether or not he shows up. Now that's another question." Joey said as he dug into his food.
Lance walked up to his Mom and Dad's house with Alison by his side. Elizabeth was running ahead of them, with her Easter dress flying behind her and Lauren followed behind as best she could. The front door flew open as soon as Elizabeth stepped on the porch.
"Gramma!" Elizabeth smiled and wrapped her arms around the older women.
placed both hands in front of her on the step and then stepped up onto
"Happy Easter." Diane said as Lance bent over and picked Lauren up. She gave everyone hugs. "Everybody is in the backyard." The four of them walked through the house and out onto the deck. Stacy was there with her husband, Ford, and their kids were playing on the swing set.
Elizabeth took off to where her cousins were. Lance sat down on one of the chairs with Lauren in his arms. After another hour, Diane, Stacy, and Alison got up to go set up the eggs in the front yard for the kids.
"Come on kids." Alison yelled from the back door. She smiled over at Lance as he stood up with Lauren. "Are you going to help her?" Lance nodded. The four kids came running up the deck steps and into the house where Stacy handed them Easter baskets. Lance walked into the house as well.
"You guys need to wait." Stacy said just as Elizabeth reached up to open the door. Lance grabbed the basket she held out for Lauren and headed towards the front door. Lance opened the door.
"What are the rules?" Lance asked the four kids at his feet.
"Good. Make sure you save some for Lauren too. All right?" Lance asked pulling the door open further. Elizabeth nodded and was the first one out the door followed by her cousins. Lance stepped onto the porch and then went down the steps. He set Lauren on the ground at the bottom and grabbed her hand.
They walked across the yard and Lauren watched the other kids scramble for the eggs as fast as they could. She bent over seeing the first bright pink egg and picked it up. Lauren held it up for Lance and showed him. He went to grab it and put it in her basket, but Lauren held onto it under her arm. At the next one she came too, Lauren handed it to Lance with a grin on her face. Lance smiled at the little girl.
"So what are you guys doing this summer?" Stacy asked as the family sat down for Easter dinner later that evening.
"I haven't told you yet?" Lance asked, "We are going up to Pennsylvania the last weekend in June. For a little reunion with the guys."
"Really?" She asked surprised. Lance nodded and reached for the plate of ham that was being passed around the table. "How is that going to work out?"
"Is this all of our stuff?" Lance asked. They had just flown to Pennsylvania from Mississippi. He looked at the bags that they had pulled off of the carousel. Lance had a firm grip on Elizabeth's hand, while Alison held Lauren.
"I have to go potty." Elizabeth said with a sudden surge of energy.
"I'll take her." Alison volunteered, "Lauren needs to be changed anyway."
"All right." Lance nodded. "I'll be here." He smiled. Alison walked off with the girls. Lance looked around the place hoping to see a sign pointing in the direction of the car rental place. Alison came back almost twenty minutes later with Elizabeth ten feet in front of her the entire way.
"Do you know where the car rental place is?" Alison asked glancing around quickly.
"The sign says it's to the left." He answered. Lance walked over and grabbed a luggage cart. He put their bags on the carrier and they walked to the left.
"Should we check into the hotel first?" Alison asked as they stepped up to the counter.
"Yeah let's do that and then we can head over to Chris'." Lance answered.
"Do you have a reservation?" The attendant asked.
"Yeah. It should be under Lance Bass." Lance answered. He waited for the man to finish typing it in.
"You wanted a van? For five days?" Lance nodded. "All right. I need you to put down a deposit and then we will bring the van around." They finished the transaction and then went and stood outside while someone brought the minivan around. The family went and checked into the hotel and before they knew it they were heading towards Chris' house.
"They said to go left on Washington." Alison glancing at the directions Chris had given them. Lance turned left onto the street. "And after five miles you turn right onto Calla."
It was a thirty minute drive from that point before they pulled up to Chris' house. Lance smiled seeing the vehicle already parked in front of the house. He recognized the four people standing on the front porch immediately.