"Wait, before you guys leave he has to call Officer Whaley." Chris nodded at the paper in JC’s hand.

"I’ll call her when I get back."

"No, call her first." Chris was tired of arguing. "Go on. Go call her from your room, answer her dozen or so questions then go."

JC sighed as though he were being put out having to talk to the police officer, "Okay, give me fifteen minutes." JC said to Sean. "Have Trey meet me by the elevators and I'll go take the test."

"You got it." Sean and JC headed for the door.

"Hey guys?" Chris called after them, casting a quick glance at Kyle.

"Yeah?" JC turned back around.

"You’ll need Kyle for the tests too." Chris shook his head, hoping for a few free hours to take a nap and a shower.

"Can you keep him till I’m done with the call?" JC asked, and without waiting for an answer he continued down the hall to his room.

"Sure." Chris said to himself. "Okay kiddo, you and me again."

"Yay!" Kyle did a little dance, "And we go ouside?"

"Yeah, we can go back outside." Chris sighed and nodded toward the sliding glass door. Kyle was already pulling the drapes back and reaching for the handle. He ran onto the balcony as soon as the door was open and Chris sat inside watching him. Chris yawned and leaned back on his arms as the afternoon sun found it’s way into the shady balcony.

Kyle squinted and looked up into the sky, "Aoplane in sky?"

Chris followed Kyle’s tiny finger as he pointed up, "No airplanes… nope. But that’s where they go. You’re pretty smart."

"Yeah." Kyle sighed and said, "Aoplane go bye bye."

"Yep. You go bye bye in the airplane." Chris yawned and tried to keep his eyes open. Kids could be so tiring.

JC nervously dialed the number on the torn piece of paper and waited as his call was directed to Officer Whaley’s desk. "This is Whaley." She answered with an unexpected harshness.

"Hi, uh hi… My name is Jay – Joshua Chasez."

"Ahhh, Mr. Chasez." He could hear the smile in her voice as he said his name. "I’ve been waiting to hear from you."

"Yeah I was in Florida."

"Yes, I understand that. Do you have a couple minutes?"

"Sure." JC sat on the edge of the bed and twirled the ballpoint pen in his hand.

"Great, my partner and I will be over in ten minutes. What’s your room number?"

"You’re coming over?" He sat up straighter.

"Yes of course. I’d like you to take a look at the letter that was left with the child, and we’ll have some questions for you."

"We can’t do it over the phone?"

"It’d really be better if we came there."

"Okay." JC sighed. This was the icing on the cake of his weekend. "Can you come in the back or something? I mean, there’s a huge crowd outside and everything."

"We’ll be in an unmarked car in plain clothes." She smiled. "You’ll be okay."

"Okay." JC nodded. "I’m in room 1121."

"Okay, we’ll be there in ten minutes." Officer Whaley said before she hung up.

JC ran his hands through his hair and wondered how it got so long. He made a mental note to have it cut next time he was in the chair then went to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

Overall JC wasn’t too concerned with this whole thing. He didn’t sleep around and he didn’t have one night stands, he had been faithful to Ali for the entire time they’d been dating. Almost three years and he hadn’t so much as kissed another woman. And he was careful, all the time and every time. He knew the consequences of not being careful and a prime example of that was down the hall playing in Chris’ room.

"He’s got the looks though." JC smirked to his reflection in the mirror. That was true, the kid was cute, definitely a future heartbreaker. JC sighed and shook his head. His mind had been running double-time since those little words left Chris’ mouth but he couldn’t think of a single way that child in there could be his. That added to the stress of being in the beginning weeks of a huge U.S. tour was almost more than JC could fathom.

"Don’t sweat it." He mumbled to his image before he splashed water on his face and tried to wash the six-hour flight out of his pores.

Fifteen minutes later there was a knock on his door. With a pounding heart and unsteady hands, JC pulled the door open. He was surprised at Officer Whaley's appearance; she wasn’t what he had expected at all. She was young, short and cute. The wedding ring on her left hand was tiny, but her hand looked strong. He knew for a fact that he wouldn’t want to mess with her.

"Hi, JC is it?" She smiled and shook his hand. "I’m Officer Whaley, this is Officer Fernandez." The young man to her side smiled. "Why don’t we go sit down and we can try to work this out." She carried herself tall as she crossed the room to the table by the window. "Do you mind?" Officer Whaley looked over her shoulder as she reached for the drapes.

"Go ahead." JC nodded. She pulled the curtains open to brighten up the room a little as Officer Fernandez set his notebook on the table and pulled up a seat.

"Okay." Officer Whaley sighed with a smile and sat across from JC. "How was your flight?"

"Fine."

"Good." She nodded and reached into the notebook. "First of all, you’re not here for questioning. You’re not in any kind of trouble or anything like that. If at any time you want to stop the process just say so, we’ll leave."

"It’s okay." JC shook his head.

"We’re just here to help." Officer Whaley smiled again and set the letter from Kyle’s mom in front of JC. "This is a copy of the letter handed to Mr. Kirkpatrick with the child."

JC picked it up and read it over, blushing instinctively as he did so. "Okay."

"Basically what we need to do is find out if you can help us out here."

"Yeah well I’m going to take the paternity test I guess this afternoon." JC dropped the letter on the table.

"Okay, I’ll call ahead to the clinic so that they are expecting you." Officer Whaley scribbled in her notebook. "What do you think of all of this?" She asked softly.

"I think it’s bogus… and sad." JC scratched the side of his nose as his eyes darted between the two officers. "I don’t sleep around. Contrary to popular belief, not all pop stars are sluts." He laughed quickly.

"She signed the letter ‘L.’, does that ring a bell?"

"I’ve never dated anyone with an L name, no."

"Who was your last girlfriend?"

"I’m dating Ali right now. We’ve been together almost three years. Before her was Jamie, but that was pretty short. Before that I don’t know. I dated a couple girls, you know? Like when I was a teenager and stuff."

"At the time she’s speaking about, April 1998…" Officer Whaley referred back to her copy of the letter. "Were you dating anyone then?"

"I was kind of seeing Ali. We were just friends but we started going out in April. Around Easter." JC nodded.

"So you weren’t seeing anyone else?"

"No." He shook his head. "And she said Boston right?" JC looked at the paper.

"Yes."

"We haven’t played Boston since we played clubs. That was way more than three years ago."

"Have you stopped over?"

"No. I take that back though; we played Boston a couple weeks ago… the first week of this tour. But I doubt that makes a difference."

"Did anyone try to contact you there?"

"People try to contact me all the time." JC frowned.

"Can we contact your management to try to see if they have a record of a girl claiming to be the mother of your child trying to contact you?"

"I… I don’t know. I guess. I’d have to talk with Sean. I mean, if it would help sure." JC shrugged.

"We’re on your side here." Officer Whaley said. JC began to wonder if Officer Fernandez was simply there for decoration while Office Whaley seemed to be doing all of the talking. "We’re just trying to find the child’s mother."

"I know." JC nodded.

"Thank you for volunteering to take the paternity test. Once we get those results, we’ll have a better idea of where to go." She smiled. "I know you’re busy and I’d hate to waste your time talking about your past relationships if you’re not even the father."

"Right."

"But… at the same time the sooner we can start looking, the sooner we may locate her."

"I understand that. I’m willing to help if I can, but… I don’t know, it might be better to wait and see what happens you know?"

"I agree." Officer Whaley nodded. "If you can think of anything else though, please give us a call."

"I will." JC stood up to see them out.

"You’re going today for the test?"

"Yeah, as soon as we’re done here."

"Okay, the results should only take a few days and I understand you’re here until Thursday?"

"Yeah." JC nodded. "We leave Thursday morning for Phoenix."

"Okay. You’ll call us with the results?"

"Sure." JC nodded and followed them out to the hall. He expected them to walk toward Chris’s room but instead they went straight to the elevator. "What about… what about the kid?"

"I’m sorry?"

"Well he’s in Chris’s room."

"Mr. Kirkpatrick said he was keeping the child until the paternity test came back."

"He did?"

"Yes." Officer Whaley set her jaw. "He was against putting the child in protective custody and assured us that you would feel the same."

"No I… yeah, no I do."

"If you’d prefer I can send a car around to pick him up from the clinic after the testing."

"No… no that’s okay." JC shook his head. He released the breath he’d been holding as the two officers stepped onto the elevator. This was a lot to handle all of a sudden and he had a feeling this was just the beginning.

"Hey kid, you ready?" Sean asked from his doorway ten feet away.

"Yeah." JC yawned. "Let’s go get this over with."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sean got Kyle from Chris’s room and carried him downstairs to get him buckled in his borrowed car seat, then they pulled the car around to the side so that JC and Lonnie could avoid the small gathering of fans out front. They drove the 40 minutes to the tiny clinic near the harbor and parked in the near empty lot.

JC rushed into the building with Lonnie as Sean carried Kyle up the front walk. "Hi, I’m uh… is there someone in charge here?"

"I’m Marianne, I’m the director here, is there something I can help you with?" A young looking lady asked as JC leaned against the counter.

"Yeah, I um… I need to take a paternity test. Officer Whaley was supposed to have called ahead?" JC explained, as he looked over his shoulder to make sure no one else heard. They were alone in the waiting room and JC relaxed a bit. "This place looks closed." He looked around at the dim offices behind the main desk.

"Yes, Officer Whaley called." Marianne nodded. "And yes, we are technically closed. We’re not open on the weekend but under special circumstances I don’t mind coming in." She reached into a drawer and pulled a clipboard out. "Go ahead and fill these out, when you’re done we’ll take you and the child back to retrieve the samples." She glanced around the small waiting area. "The mother is unavailable for testing, right?"

"Right." JC shook his head. "It’s a long story."

"That’s fine." Marianne nodded.

"I really hate needles." JC’s voice practically shook and he grabbed onto the ledge of the counter.

"That’s okay, I don’t like them much either." Marianne smiled as JC sat on the little couch to fill out the form as best as he could. He placed the clipboard on his lap and chewed on his thumbnail as he scribbled his information on the form.

When he was done he handed it to Marianne, "Looks good, lets head on back and get this out of the way. Would you and…" She consulted the form, "Kyle, please come on back?"

"Sure." JC put his hands in his pockets and walked through the swinging doors as Sean stood by the couch holding Kyle.

"Sir? The child?" Marianne nodded toward the waiting room.

"Oh yeah." JC turned around and clumsily reached for the toddler.

"He’s a cutie." Marianne smiled and ruffled Kyle’s hair.

JC simply nodded as she led the way down the sterile white halls to an examining room on the right. "How… um, how do you do this?"

"We take a sample from the inside of your cheek and a sample from Kyle’s cheek and compare them with our DNA process."

"You’re gonna take a sample from my cheek?" The blood rushed from JC’s face.

"Yes, it’s a painless procedure." Marianne snapped rubber gloves onto her hands then prepared two swab sticks. She caught JC eyeing them with fear in his eyes and smiled, "Would you like Kyle to go first?"

"No I can." He mustered up as much courage as he could as he balanced Kyle on his knee.

"Okay, swallow, then open wide."

JC swallowed three times before he opened his mouth and shut his eyes, preparing for the worst. Marianne gently swabbed the side of his cheek up and down, then removed the narrow wooden swab.

"Good job." She laughed lightly and sealed the sample in the sterile container. "Okay Kyle, are you ready honey?"

"That’s it?" JC asked.

"That’s it." Marianne smiled and looked at Kyle, "Can you open your mouth really wide for me? Go like this." She demonstrated by opening her mouth and sticking out her tongue. Kyle laughed and opened wide, "Very good." She took his sample and sealed it the same way she did JC’s. "You’re all done, see? That wasn’t so bad, was it?"

"No, that was easy." JC laughed nervously as he placed Kyle on the floor and stood up. Kyle instinctively grabbed JC’s fingers as they walked back down the hall to where the two older men were waiting.

Sean paid the lab fees and JC muttered, "Thanks for uh… for coming in on the weekend for this."

"It’s no problem." Marianne smiled. "I’ll call you as soon as the results are in."

"Okay." JC nodded as Sean picked Kyle up and headed for the door. "Thanks."

"You’re welcome. Bye guys." She waved and JC ducked out of the empty clinic.

Kyle waved his pudgy hand at the doctor as he and Sean walked out the door. Marianne laughed and waved at the little boy, silently hoping for the best for those two.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"So what's the deal?" Chris asked when JC knocked on his door an hour later.

"We have to wait for the results." JC sighed and gently nudged Kyle into the room. Recognizing Chris from the night before, Kyle walked over and tugged on the knee of his pants.

"Hey Kyle, wassup dude?" Chris laughed and kneeled to be at eye level with him. Kyle gave Chris a worried look and grabbed at his diaper. "Oh, you carrying a load in there?"

"Yeah." Kyle continued to look worried as he glanced from Chris to JC. "A diaper."

"You bet, you need your diaper changed. Right on." Chris stood up and looked at JC, "No better time to learn."

"Wrong answer." JC shook his head and turned for the door. "I have to go call Ali."

"Then here." Chris leaned over the bed and grabbed the stack of diapers and box of wipes. "You'll need these."

"Come on Chris, help me out here. Can you keep an eye on him for like an hour? I've gotta go explain to Ali that I took a paternity test today."

"Why don't you wait for th-"

"Because somehow… someway she'll find out I went to test and she'll blow sky high. Just give me an hour." He rubbed his eyes and yawned.

Chris sighed and looked at the little boy standing by the bed with his hand on his bulging diaper. "Yeah, okay fine."

"Thanks." JC ducked out of the room before Chris could nod, and the door swung shut behind him.

"Well kid, it's just you and me now." Chris shook his head and hoisted the little boy onto the bed to change his diaper, "JC is going to owe me big time for this." He mumbled under his breath.

"Jaaaycee?" Kyle asked.

"Yep, JC. That's the dude you were just hanging out with. He's a loser." Chris made a face and turned his head as he blindly wiped Kyle's behind. "Good God kid what did I feed you?" He wiped as fast as he could and shut the diaper then taped the new one into place. "Right on, good as new." Chris reached for Kyle’s hands and pulled him to a standing position.

"Uh oh!" Kyle laughed as Chris cell phone rang on the table across the room. "Phone!"

"Yep, hop on down, let's go get it." He held Kyle’s hand as he jumped to the floor, then Chris lunged for his phone, "Hello? Hi?"

"Chris?" Colleen asked.

"Hey Col."

"What's going on? Are you okay?"

"Who's it?" Kyle asked.

"Who's there?" Colleen asked.

"His name is Kyle, he's like… 2." Chris explained.

"Who does he belong to?" Colleen asked. Chris thought for a second to try to think of how to explain this without having to explain it. "Chris...?"

"Yeah?" He snapped back to attention.

"Wh-who does he belong to?"

"I don't know." He said honestly.

"You don't know? Chris what's going on?"

"Okay this chick last night? She handed him to me and said - "

"He’s yours?!" Colleen practically shouted.

"No! No Col, she said for me to hold him so I did and then she took off."

"Some girl just left her kid with a complete stranger?"

"Well I… I mean she knew who I was apparently."

"What are you trying to say Chris. Spit it out."

"She knew who I was… meaning she knew I was Chris Kirkpatrick from Nsync. Am… I am Chris Kirkpatrick from Nsync." He paused for a second but she didn't say a word. Chris kicked his shoes off and sighed, "You can't say a word to anyone. I mean it Col, not anyone."

"What?"

"She left a note that said he's JC's." He said softly.

"Holy shit. Does Ali know?" Colleen asked with her hand covering her mouth.

"He's talking to her right now."

"So JC has a kid?"

"We don't know." Chris shook his head again. "He went to take a paternity test this morning but I swear Colleen, you can't say anything to anyone."

"I'm not."

"Because chances are he's not JC's and this whole thing will blow over."

"Yeah but what if…"

"Dude, we can't even think about that right now." Chris smiled as Kyle stuck his small feet in Chris's huge shoes and plodded toward the bathroom.

"So if he might be JC's how come he's in your room?"

"Because I'm the best friend JC's got." Chris laughed. "I knew I shoulda come to see you for the weekend."

"Your sweet to take care of him."

"My only other option would be to let him roam the halls." Chris watched as Kyle lost his balance and caught himself on the corner of the bed. "You okay pal?"

"Yeah." Kyle laughed and picked his leg up as high as it would go to move the heavy shoe forward.

"Is he the cutest thing ever?" Colleen laughed lightly.

"He's wearing my shoes and trying to walk, yeah it's pretty cute."

"Aww."

"Yeah but you know what's not the cutest thing ever?"

"Hmm?"

"Him pissing in the bed in the middle of the night then waking up like three hours later wanting eggs. Not to mention the diapers."

"He's not potty trained?"

"He came in a diaper and I've been changing them. I guess not."

"Well maybe he only wears them at night. Ask him if he has to go."

"Colleen…"

"Well ask him, you might be surprised."

"Hey Kyle? Do you have to go to the bathroom?" Chris asked.

"Ask him is he has to go potty. You have to use kid words."

"I'm not saying that." Chris pretended to frown, knowing that Colleen was mentally picturing kids of their own.

"Come on."

"Do you have to go potty?" Chris winced as he said it.

"No." Kyle was too busy concentrating on lifting Chris' shoes to pay attention to Chris.

"He doesn't have to go."

"Well just ask him during the day."

"This is my weekend off. I'll tell JC to ask him."

"It’s JC’s weekend off too."

"Too damn bad." Chris laughed. Colleen laughed with him and they talked for another couple of minutes about plans for after the tour and her school. "Hang on. He’s being quiet in there."

"In where?"

"The bathroom." Chris mumbled as he stood up.

"Chris! There are all kinds of things he can hurt himself on in there."

"It’s not like there’s cleaning stuff. Unless he eats the half a roll of toilet paper in there or a hand towel… he can’t get hurt." Chris flipped the light on to see Kyle sitting by the bathtub with a shoe on each hand. "You okay?" Chris asked.

"Is big shoe."

"Yeah those are big shoes. Come on out here buddy." Chris held the door open for Kyle as the toddler picked up Chris’s shoes and stumbled out into the room. He turned his attention back to Colleen, "Hey Col, I’ve gotta get going. I can’t concentrate on talking and watching him at the same time."

"Okay hun, let me know what happens with this."

"I will."

"Is it safe to call Ali?"

"Wait till she calls you. I don’t know if I was supposed to say anything." Chris said softly.

"Alright." Colleen sighed. "I’ll talk to you later."

Chris said goodbye then turned to Kyle, "So… Oh! Hey check it out. I’ve got some toys for you. I had one of the guys bring these in from the bus. Cool huh?" Chris reached for the stuffed animals on the bed. There were three or four bears as well as a huge stuffed frog and a dog.

"Dog!" Kyle’s eyes lit up as he wrapped his arms around the floppy brown dog.

"That’s right. What’s his name?"

"Kyle."

"Your dog’s name is Kyle?" Chris smiled.

"Mine?"

"Yeah, you can keep him."

"Kay." Kyle laughed.

"So his name is Kyle?"

"No, Lello."

"Lello. I like that name." Chris laughed and reached for one of the bears. He held it in front of his face and made his voice sound scratchy, "Hi Kyle, my name is Stan the bear. I like your dog."

Kyle erupted with giggles and bounced the dog up and down on the floor, then made him jump onto the bed and bark. Chris continued with the bear voice for a while and they pretended they were hiking around the room looking for alligators.

"There’s one!" Chris shouted as he ducked and crawled between the bed. Kyle followed and laughed; Lello clasped tightly in his hand.

"Oh man." Chris yawned as he saw the alarm clock that was at eye level. "Shit, it’s been like two hours. Where’s JC?" He asked the child as if he might answer.

"Dunno." Kyle shrugged and laughed.

"Me neither." Chris stood up and cracked his back. "Okay kiddo. Let’s go find JC so I can get ready to go out. I’m gonna par-tay." Chris did a little dance and Kyle’s eyes twinkled as he laughed. "Let’s go." He reached his hand out and Kyle dropped Lello to the floor then took his hand without thinking twice. They left the room and walked three doors down to JC’s shut door.

"Jace!" Chris held tight to the tiny hand in his as he knocked on JC's door. "JC! Come on man, I've got plans." He knocked again as Kyle tried to wiggle his hand free. "Hold my hand bud."

"No." Kyle tried harder to pry his hand away.

"Cool it Kyle, hold my hand." Kyle began to whine and pull harder as Chris knocked again. "What's the problem?" Chris kneeled down in front of Kyle who now had tears in his eyes. As soon as the first tear spilled onto Kyle's little cheek Chris felt terrible. "I'm sorry buddy, what's wrong?"

"Mama." He cried as he rubbed his eyes.

"Shit." Chris said under his breath. "Its okay buddy, come here." He pulled Kyle into his arms and rested his little head against his shoulder. Chris gently rubbed the back of his head as Kyle continued to cry for his mother. "I know this sucks. Your mama will be back soon." Chris seriously hoped she would as he used his foot and kicked JC's door again.

"Go bye bye." Kyle cried.

"You want to go bye bye?" Chris asked softly. He had no idea what to do but it seemed like Kyle calmed down a bit as Chris rubbed his back and cooed the same sentence over again.

"Mama bye bye."

"Yeah, mama went bye bye." Chris shook his head and sighed. This poor kid had no idea what was going on and Chris couldn’t do anything to help. "But you're okay kiddo, you're gonna hang out with me for a couple days. We have fun, right?" Chris stood up and lifted Kyle onto his hip. "We're buddies right? We have a good time."

Kyle's cries subsided to sniffles as he rested his head on Chris' shoulder. "Yeah." He said between sniffs.

"Cool, we're cool." He kissed Kyle's forehead then turned his attention back to the door. "Come on JC." He pounded again and rolled his eyes.

"He took off." Lonnie said from the end of the hall.

"He better not have." Chris threatened.

"He and Trey left to grab some dinner."

"Are you shitting me?" Chris laughed, though he didn't find it funny at all.

"Watch you mouth in front of the kid." Lonnie warned.

"He seriously left?"

"Yeah about ten minutes ago."

"Well where did they go?"

"Beats me." Lonnie smiled and waved at Kyle who hid his tear stained face in Chris' shoulder. "What's up?"

"I've got plans tonight and I can't…" He stopped and looked at Kyle in his arms. "Lonnie… old buddy old pal…"

"Nope." Lonnie held up his hands. "I'm not a babysitter."

"Come on man, I'm supposed to meet up with my LA buds in like a hour and I have to change my now snot covered shirt." Chris looked down at his damp shoulder.

"Dude. Not my problem." He shook his head.

A door opened down the hall and Chris heard footsteps getting closer, "Lonnie! Will you do me the biggest favor ever?" Jessica asked as she approached. "Hi sweetie." She ran her hand over Kyle's head and smiled at Chris, "Hi Chris."

"Whatcha need?" Lonnie asked.

"I ordered room service and they said someone needs to sign for it at the elevators since it's after hours and they aren't even supposed to be delivering full menu at this hour and they're not even technically supposed to be on the floor."

"And…?"

"And I'm not exactly dressed to meet the public." She laughed and looked down at her cut off sweats and tank top.

"Are you staying in tonight?"

"Yeah." Jessica put her hands on her hips and gave Chris a look. "Why?"

"I'm supposed to meet some friends of mine for drinks."

"Okay…?" Jessica furrowed her brow and waited for more. Chris didn't say another word he just looked at Kyle. "Ooooh I see." She scoffed.

"Seriously Jess, it would be a huge favor."

"Where's Mr. Possible Pops?" She asked sarcastically.

"He apparently stepped out and I fully intend on beating him senseless when he gets back. But for now… could you?"

"This is my weekend off too you know."

"I know." Chris nodded and checked his watch.

"What do I get in exchange?"

"What do you want?" Chris asked.

"Your black leather jacket with the flames."

"Ha, right. Next?"

"A week off."

"C'mon Jess… something I can do."

"That navy blue FuMan tank dress." She smiled slowly.

"With the rhinestones?"

She shook her head and reached for Kyle, "The glitter logo."

"Done, I'll have it for you by like next week."

"And the Nsync thong."

"Serious?" He made a face. She just laughed and propped Kyle on her hip then bounced him lightly.

"Did he eat yet?"

"Eat what?" Chris asked.

"Dinner?"

"Oh. No. I don’t think so."

"You didn’t feed him?"

"No, I… he didn’t say he was hungry."

"He barely talks Chris." Jessica shook her head. "Okay sweetie, come with me, you can have some of my chicken. Do you like chicken?"

"Yum!" Kyle smiled and raised his arms over his head; "Do you have diapers?"

"Yeah, in my room." Chris nodded.

"Fine, let’s go get them." Jessica thanked Lonnie and followed Chris back to his room. He helped her carry the stuffed dog, diapers and wipes down to her room.

"Thanks a lot Jess. When JC gets back he’ll take him."

"Okay." Jessica nodded. "Let’s not make this a habit though."

"He may only be here another day or so." Chris said softly.

"I know." She nodded and rested her head on Kyle’s. "Have fun tonight."

"Thanks, you too."

"Oh yeah. A laugh a minute."

"Have him and Lello help you find alligators in your room. They’re good at that."

"Lello?"

"That brown fuzzy thing in your hand." He smiled.

"Ohh. He finds alligators huh?" She asked Kyle.

"Bigator." Kyle held his hands as far apart as they would go.

"Wow!" She laughed and waved goodbye to Chris as he headed for the door.

Chris wrote JC a note telling him to get Kyle from Jessica as soon as he got back, then added a crude drawing of a hand flipping the bird before scribbling, "Thanks for taking off." He taped it to JC’s door before heading out to meet his friends for the night.

Kyle and Jessica shared her teriyaki chicken and rice, then she dressed him in one of her t-shirts and laid him on the bed, the poor kid looked exhausted. "Did you get a nap today?" Jessica asked as she lay down beside him to stroke his uneven hair. "I bet you didn’t. It’s barely seven and you’re pooped." Kyle’s eyes slowly drooped closed but he fought to keep them open. "It’s okay sweetie, go to sleep." Jessica whispered softly as she clicked the little lamp off.

The light by the table kept the room out of darkness as Jessica lay beside Kyle until he fell asleep. When she was sure he was out she stood up and took her book to the table to read with the radio playing softly in the background.

That had been her only plans for the night, so she wasn’t too put out by having Kyle crashed out on her bed. She read for almost two hours before there was a sharp knock on her door.

The sudden sound startled her and she jumped out of her chair clutching her chest. She laughed nervously at her own reaction and set her murder mystery book on the table before opening the door. "Hi." She said softly as JC rubbed his chin.

"Hey." He nodded. "You have Kyle?"

"Yeah, he’s asleep. Let me get him for you." She turned back into the room and left him holding the door open. She got his things together on the bed then ducked into the bathroom. She came out a minute later with a dark red backpack and put his diapers, wipes and a few toys into it.

"What’s that?" JC looked at the backpack as she held it out to him.

"It’s his bag."

"He has a bag?" He took it so she could pick Kyle up from the bed with both hands.

"He needed it." She explained. "His diapers are in there, wipes, a change of clothes and a couple little toys."

"Ahh okay." JC nodded and looked down at Kyle half asleep on Jessica’s shoulder.

"Here." She lifted him off her shoulder and held him out to JC

JC didn’t move to take him for a second, then quickly grabbed Kyle under his arms and dropped him on his shoulder. "So he’s asleep?"

"He was, yeah. If you go back to your room and lay him down he’ll go right back to sleep." Jessica nodded. "There’s a book in there too if you want to read to him." She turned to leave but JC stopped her with a desperate hand.

"Wait. What… what do I do?"

"You lay him on the bed and cover him with a blanket." She gave him a weird look.

"But…"

"You’ll be fine." She yawned herself and reached for the door.

"Nigh nigh?" Kyle mumbled as JC stepped into the hall.

"You bet." JC said softly.

"G’night." Jessica smiled then shut the door, she had a book to finish.

"Okay Kyle, let’s go to bed." JC said softly as they walked down the hall. He never thought he’d hear himself tell another guy that, and he laughed at the thought.

He let himself into his room and looked at the giant king size bed in the middle. He was going to have to share the bed and according to Chris, the kid had a weak bladder. "Okay, I just have to figure this out. Hang on." He put the backpack by the foot of the bed as his arm began to go numb.

JC carefully set Kyle on the bed, and he collapsed like a wet noodle. JC turned Kyle sideways and scooted him closer to the headboard, then put the pillows along Kyle’s side to keep him secure in his little area.

Having never slept in the same room with a kid before, JC wasn’t sure what he could and could not do as far as noise was concerned. He read his magazine and tried to keep his mind off things, then sat on the floor at the foot of the bed and turned the TV on.

The characters on TV talked to each other but with the volume turned all the way down JC could only guess what they were saying. He listened to Kyle snoring lightly on the bed behind him and sighed; yesterday he hadn’t even know that the child existed and here he was listening to him sleep six feet away… wondering if he had a son.

 

Chapter 3… 

 

Copyright � 2001, Amy Lynn