The show on Monday went as planned, everything worked and they sounded great. Kyle was kept entertained by several of the security guards before his battery ran out. They placed him in Sean’s office with a towel covering him since they couldn’t find a blanket in the area. Sean stuck around the office to keep an eye on the sleeping boy for the duration of the show.

JC spent the next day trying to find other people to watch Kyle as he went about his day making appearances with the other guys. Jessica helped out during the day and she took Kyle to a little park nearby just to get him outside. They went back to the mall to pick him up another two outfits since the original two needed to be washed. She wore him out so that when they arrived at the venue that night for the show, he was exhausted. Sean agreed to keep an eye on him while he slept again, "I’ve got tons of paperwork to go over, so as long as he’s asleep it’s cool." He explained.

"He should be asleep the whole time, he didn’t get a nap today at all." Jessica covered him with a fleece Raiders blanket she found on her bus and kissed his forehead.

"All right then." Sean said without looking up from his stack of papers.

"All right." Jessica sighed softly and left the room to run over to the dressing room. There was always a wardrobe emergency that she had to deal with before every show.

Jessica busied herself during the show by double checking their wardrobe changes for the night and fixing any seams or tears that needed it. The boys rushed in after "It’s Gonna be me" to prepare for "Bye bye bye".

"Lance! Come here for a minute." Jessica flagged him down as he ran by.

"Yeah?" Lance stopped and wiped his brow with a small white towel.

"When you’re done tonight I need you to toss your pants. I’ve got new ones for tomorrow night and I don’t want those to get mixed in."

"Trash ‘em?" He asked as he tried to catch his breath.

"Yeah."

"I can’t save ‘em?"

"You can if you want I guess. Just don’t put them in with the rest of the clothes, the seams have been sewn over too many times. If you wear them again your package really will bust out." She laughed and raised her eyebrow at the mental image.

Lance chuckled and shook his head, "Got it." He waved over his shoulder then trotted to the back area to catch up. He changed and followed Chris back out to take their places under the stage.

"So hey, how does it feel knowing this might be the last song you sing as a single swingin' man?" Joey asked as he snapped JC's leg with his towel.

"Huh?" JC bent to roll the cuff of his pants.

"You get your test scores back tomorrow right?"

"Results, yeah."

"So this is it. The last song." Joey shrugged. "Before you know… right?" He ran his fingers through his sweaty hair then wiped them on his pants.

"Yeah. Yeah I guess so." JC nodded. He had managed to put that little fact out of his mind for the duration of the show, his doubts and worries flooded his mind as he followed Joey and Justin out to the stage again… to sing what could very well be his last song as a 'single and swingin' guy.

He plastered a big fake smile on his face and tried not to yawn as he positioned himself on the pedestal, readying himself to be raised through the floor of the stage… just like he'd done every other night on the tour.

 

When the show was over JC hauled himself to the van to ride back to the hotel; he forced himself to stay awake as they drove the short distance. "So where’s the kid?" Lance asked.

"Sean has him." Chris said as he pulled his sweater over his head. "Hey can you roll up the windows man? It’s freezing."

"I’m all sweaty." Justin glanced back from the front seat.

"I’m like a Chrisicle back here."

"We’re almost there." Justin rolled his eyes, but rolled the window up a few inches anyway.

"Hey Jace, when are they calling tomorrow?" Chris asked.

"I don’t know." JC shook his head. "They didn’t say. I just hope it’s not too early, we get to sleep in tomorrow."

"Not with the kid you won’t." Chris laughed. "He’s up by seven every day."

"He’s not staying with me tonight." JC shook his head.

"Where’s he staying?"

"I don’t know, with Jessica I think."

"You think?" Chris raised his eyebrows and tucked his hands under his arms to keep them warm.

"Sean said he was taking care of it." JC shrugged.

Chris sighed and kept his mouth shut and he noticed the others doing the same thing. Rather than make a scene with an obviously tense JC, they’d wait till the test results came back. If JC wasn’t the father then Kyle would be out of the picture and things would get back to normal… but if he was, then there would have to be a lot of changes made.

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

JC woke up on his own the next morning shortly after eight. When given the opportunity, he always slept until at least nine thirty, but he just couldn't get back to sleep. He got up and showered, wondering just when the call would come. "Relax Chasez." He mumbled as he towel dried himself. "Keep your head in the game. Think Leno tonight." He tried to psych himself out of stressing, but the shrill ringing of the phone in the other room destroyed his concentration.

JC bolted to the bedroom then sat on the bed and stared at the phone. He seriously thought about just letting it ring, letting them leave a message so he could call them later… when he was ready.

As it rang for the fourth time, JC quickly reached out and grabbed the handset before he could change his mind. "H-hello?" He managed.

"Mr. Joshua Chasez?" The voice asked.

"Yes."

"This is Marianne from the Primary Medical Clinic, I have your test results if you’d like them now. They are also being sent directly to you at the address you’ve listed."

"I didn’t think you’d get them so soon." JC was more nervous than he thought he would be. He held the phone tighter so that his fingers wouldn't get a mind of their own and begin shaking.

"Yes, we were told this was an urgent matter."

"Yeah… yes it is." JC nodded and rested his head in his hands. He wished he could just know the results without having someone tell him, without having to hear.

"Are you ready for the results sir?"

"Yes." JC said softly.

"Okay, it has been proven with a 99.4% accuracy that you are the father of this child. All federal and state courts require a minimum of 94% accuracy. Do you have any questions?"

JC felt lightheaded as he grasped the phone tighter, "He what?"

"The child, Kyle, is yours, with a 99.4% accuracy." The clinic director repeated.

"You’re sure?" JC asked, though he knew he didn’t really need to.

"Yes, we’re sure. The paperwork is being messengered over to your hotel right now, but I wanted to let you know in person. You will need to show I.D. for the messenger, so please have that ready."

"I… okay." JC nodded numbly.

"Do you have any questions regarding the results?"

"No… no I guess not." JC shook his head slowly.

"If you do come up with any questions, the clinic is open until six this evening, and I'll be here till seven."

"Thanks." His hand seemed molded to the phone as he reached to hang it up. He had no idea where to go next. He took several deep breaths to clear his mind then picked up the phone to call Sean, he changed his mind and began to dial Chris’s number. JC changed his mind again and placed his finger on the hang up button. He wasn’t sure who he needed to call first, but he knew he had to tell someone.

He dialed Chris’s room again and waited as it rang five times, "Chris?" JC asked when he answered, as if after all these years he didn’t recognize the voice.

"Yeah, what’s up? Did they call?"

"Uh, yeah." JC let out the breath he’d been holding. "Is that… he’s there?" He asked as he heard childish giggling on the other end of the line.

"Yeah, Jessica had a couple meetings this morning and you didn’t answer your door." Chris rubbed at his eyes. "So what’s the scoop?"

JC took a deep breath and mentally prepared himself to say the words out loud, "He’s mine."

Chris was silent on the other end and all JC heard was his son banging metal against metal. "He is?"

"Yeah." JC nodded.

"They're sure?"

"Well it's not like they flipped a coin." JC snapped.

"Wow."

"Tell me about it." JC’s heart raced, "So uh, what do I do now? Who do I have to tell?"

"Uh…" Chris was completely taken aback by the news, he was almost certain that Kyle wasn’t JC’s and now he didn’t know what to say. "Well you’ve gotta call Officer Whaley at the police department, you have her number. You uh, you might want to tell Sean and Johnny you know, just so they know. Your parents definitely."

"Yeah but what happens to the kid?"

"His name is Kyle." Chris said sharply, "What do you mean what happens?"

"I mean what happens?" JC sighed. "Does he come with us on the tour? Does he go to the county or whatever? Do they look for his mom? What if they don’t find her? What do I do?"

"That’s all up to you Jace." Chris looked over at the toddler with a spoon in each hand. "But whatever you do, he’s your responsibility. You don’t just drop him off at the police station or whatever."

"How are we supposed to fit a 2 year old on the tour Chris?"

"Dude, that’s not my problem." Chris shook his head.

"He’d be better off in foster care."

"Screw you JC, he would not. You’ve got another thing coming if you think you can just ignore this kid. The media would eat you alive, as if you having a kid wasn’t bad enough you’re going to abandon him?"

"His mom did!"

"Which is exactly why you need to step up to this. Shit, I can’t believe I have to talk you into being an adult."

"I am an adult."

"Great. Then come get your kid, he’s got a crappy diaper." Chris said before he hung up. He ran his hands through his hair and smiled at Kyle who was banging the spoons on the table, then on the floor in a funky dance. "Hey kiddo, come here." Chris held his hands out to the little boy who ran over and laughed hysterically as Chris scooped him up and tickled his sides. "Guess who’s coming to get you?"

"Mama?"

"No." Chris shook his head slowly, "Your daddy!" He tried to sound enthusiastic as he made a surprised face. "JC is coming to get you right now."

"Rad." Kyle said, mimicking his word of the week.

"Yeah, that’s rad." Chris laughed. "Let’s get your bag together." He looked around for the little red backpack but didn’t see it anywhere, "Where’s your bag buddy?"

"Jessi how."

"JC’s house? I don’t think so pal." Chris looked under the bed.

"No Jessi how."

"I don’t know what you’re saying Kyle."

"Jessi how." He insisted.

"Jessi house?"

"Yeah."

"Jessica’s room?" Chris tried to muddle through the baby talk.

"Yeah." Kyle laughed.

"Crap, okay." Chris reached for the phone and called Jessica’s room, "Hey, is Kyle’s bag down there?"

"Yeah." Jessica said, slightly out of breath. "Sorry, I just walked in the door when I heard the phone ringing. I have it right here but I’m late for my meeting, do you want me to bring it down?"

"Yeah, if you don’t mind."

"Nah, it’s cool. See you in a few." Jessica hung up the phone and reached for the bag.

 

"Rock dow rocket ow." Kyle seemed to be singing as he did his little spoon dance. Chris tilted his head to the side and watched the little boy intently for the first time. This little boy was no longer just some poor toddler whose mom had dunked him in Chris' arms then left. He was JC's son. His best friend had a son.

"Damn." Chris shook his head as Kyle stopped dancing and looked up at Chris.

"Damem."

"Whoa hey no. Don't say that." Chris said quickly as Jessica knocked on the door.

"Lello?" Kyle jumped up and ran for the door.

Chris followed a step behind and opened the door, "Hey Jess, thanks." He took Kyle’s backpack and lifted it over Kyle's head as Jessica handed the boy his stuffed dog.

"No problem." She shrugged and shoved her hands in her pockets. "Did the verdict come down yet?"

"Uh, yeah." Chris blushed.

"He’s the father isn’t he?"

"I’m not saying a word." Chris held up his hands.

"You don’t have to." Jessica smiled and shook her head. "So I guess there’s going to be some big changes on the tour, huh?"

"Yep, probably." Chris nodded as JC’s door down the hall opened.

Jessica watched JC as he got closer, then she simply smiled and said, "I’ll see you guys later. Bye Kyle."

"Bye bye." The little boy waved over his head as he tossed the stuffed dog in the air and watched it tumble to the floor.

JC waited until Jessica was halfway down the hall before he spoke, "You’ve gotta help me out here Chris."

"Dude Jace, I’ve been helping you out for the last four days here. It’s your turn, I’ve got things to do too."

"Chris, come on man, I’ve gotta call my parents and tell them they have a 2 year old grandson." JC somehow managed to choke out the words. "And Ali."

"Not my problem." Chris held up his hands. "I don’t mean to be an ass, but shape up. You need to get used to making phone calls with a 2 year old hanging around."

"Please… just an hour."

"Yeah we tried that already remember? You left to call Ali and didn’t come back for like four hours. No thanks." Chris handed JC Kyle’s bag and sighed. "Tell your mom I said hi." He picked Kyle up from the floor and reached for Lello, "See you later kiddo." Chris handed Kyle to JC then handed the dog to Kyle. "Bye Lello." Chris patted the dog’s head making Kyle giggle and bounce up and down on JC’s hip.

"Chris…"

"We leave for The Tonight Show at eleven. See you downstairs." Chris brushed past JC and shut his door tight, then continued down to the elevators where he met up with one of their security guards.

"Go bye?" Kyle asked as he watched Chris walk away.

"Shit." JC swore under his breath.

"Shit." Kyle imitated him.

"Shit, don’t say that. That’s a bad word." JC frowned and sighed then turned back to his room. Once there he sat Kyle on the floor and watched him walk toward the window with his dog in his arms.

JC sat on the corner of his bed and picked up his cell phone. He held it in his hands as he watched Kyle entertain himself for a couple minutes. He walked the dog across the floor to the big sliding glass door then walked him up the window as far as his arm would reach. Kyle set the dog on the floor then got down on his hands and knees to look under the bed. He must have seen something intriguing because he lay flat on his stomach to reach under the bed by JC’s feet.

JC watched the back of Kyle’s head as he scooted up further so that he was almost under the bed. "My son." JC whispered and shook his head. He wanted to stare at Kyle for days to see if he noticed any resemblance to himself… or possibly a hint of who his mother was.

That was a whole other mystery that JC was no where near prepared to handle. He had no idea where to start, but sitting there in his hotel room with his phone in his hand wasn’t accomplishing anything. He ran his thumb over the numbers and pressed them slowly as he dialed his parent’s number on the East Coast. It would be noontime for them, and he half hoped they wouldn’t be home.

His mother answered on the third ring and JC’s stomach leapt into his throat. He said hello and made small talk for a second then carefully dropped the bomb on her, leaving it to her to tell his father.

"Are you serious?" His mom asked after a moment’s pause.

"Yeah mom." JC whispered.

"Who is it?"

JC didn’t know how to answer, there was no way he could tell his mom that he didn’t know… that’d he had in fact been that irresponsible. "Just some girl."

"Just some girl?! The mother of your child is not ‘just some girl’." She insisted.

"No mom, it’s just… it’s not like that."

"Then how exactly is it?"

"She… when I went home last weekend, she left him with Chris then took off. We don’t know where she is or even where to look." JC said softly as Kyle crawled out from under the bed with one of JC’s shoes in his hand. He put it on his own foot and scooted across the room to where JC had dropped his backpack.

"She just left him with Chris?"

"Yeah."

"And Chris took him?"

"Kind of." JC nodded. "Chris was in the lobby signing stuff and posing for pics when she handed him to Chris. He thought it was just for a picture but then everyone left and no one took Kyle."

"What kind of mother would just do that?" His mother said with an obvious tone of distaste. JC caught the underlying meaning there, what a kind of girl was her son fooling around with?

"I don’t know mom, but I’m stuck here."

"Yeah, I’d say that you are." She agreed.

"What do I do?"

"I don’t know honey. Did you call the police?"

"Yeah, they’re already involved. I have to call them though when I hang up."

"You know for sure he’s yours? You’re not just taking this girls word?"

"No mom. I went on Sunday and got a DNA test done. I just got the results this morning." JC pinched his nose as he heard a chorus of giggles behind him. He turned around quickly to see Kyle laughing it up with a bright red Elmo doll. He smiled to himself as Kyle squeezed the dolls center and amused himself as it shook in his hands.

"Is that him?" His mom asked as she heard the commotion in the back.

"Y-yeah." JC caught his breath. "I need some help here mom, I can’t do this now. IWe're just starting this tour practically, I mean we have something like three and a half months left."

"I know you do." She nodded. "But this could be a good thing for you. You can take this time to get your priorities in check."

"Can you take him?" JC asked so softly that he wasn’t sure she’d heard.

"Will I take him? No, I won’t. He is your son. You need to spend some time with him. If his mother just abandoned him that poor boy must be terrified…"

"But mom, I’m – "

"I know you’re busy… but that doesn’t change the fact."

"I know it doesn’t."

"You’ve got lots of help there on tour with you."

"It’s not their problem." JC sighed.

"It’s not mine either." His mom replied. "I don’t mean to sound uncaring Jace, you know I love you. But this is something you need to do."

JC didn’t say anything for a minute, he just watched as Kyle jumped up and down from one bed to the other; "This sucks mom." He said softly.

"Yeah, it does." She nodded. She knew JC didn’t mean it the way it came out and her heart broke for her son but he needed to grow up. "But you can do this."

"How? You know how tour life is. I mean, I don’t have time to stop and feed myself nevermind a kid."

"Maybe now you’ll make the time. JC maybe this will show you that you’re not paying enough attention to yourself and that you get so wrapped up in this whole business that you block out everything else."

"I have to, that’s how we keep sane on the road."

"Well, now you’ll have to find something else."

"This is just the worst time that this could happen."

"No it’s not Jace, you’re just unprepared. Let it sink in for a couple days, get into the groove of having a little boy around and you’ll be fine." She tried to smile.

"How is this gonna be okay?"

"That’s what you’ve got to work toward." She replied. JC sighed deeply in her ear as Kyle climbed up on the bed with the Elmo doll in his arm then sat by the headboard and ‘talked’ to the doll. "Does Ali know?"

"No." JC shook his head. If there were a way to make it so she never found out, he’d do it. "I need to call her."

"Yes you do." His mother nodded. "I’ll see what I can do about coming out to see you in the next week or so… I’d like to meet my grandson." She said the word with ease, as though she’d been practicing it for years.

"Please come out mom."

"I’ll see what I can do." She repeated. "Is he… does he talk?"

"I don’t know. A little I guess."

"Can you put him on?"

"You want to talk to him?"

"If he wants to, yeah." She smiled.

"Hey uh… hey Kyle buddy. You wanna talk on the phone?" He held the little cell phone out to Kyle as he crawled from the head of the bed to where JC sat. "Here you go."

"Hi." Kyle said into the phone.

"Hi Kyle, how are you?" He heard his mom ask in that singsong voice reserved for small animals and children.

"Hi." Kyle laughed.

"Are you having fun?"

"Yeah, Emo."

"Yeah?" JC’s mom laughed.

"Lello ouside."

"You want to go outside?"

"Yeah."

"Okay, you can go outside in just a minute." She said softly. "How old are you?"

"Dis." Kyle held up two chubby fingers and looked at them intently, then giggled. "Go bye now." He dropped the phone on the bed beside JC and bounced back to the head of the bed where he left Elmo.

"Mom?" JC picked up the phone and held it to his ear.

She didn’t respond at first, but he could hear her take a few deep breaths and let them out slowly, "Okay Jace hun, you’ve uh… you’ve got plenty of calls to make I’m sure." She tried to keep her voice from shaking but JC could tell she was probably close to tears.

"Yeah." He whispered.

"Give me a call a little later, okay?"

"I will." He pressed his hands against his eyes.

"I love you babe."

"I love you too mom." He sighed and clicked the phone off. The clock on the nightstand read 9:44am and he shook his head. He had to be downstairs and ready to go in an hour, along with the kid. He’d known Kyle was his for a little more than an hour and nothing had had time to sink in.

JC reached over to the nightstand and grabbed the little package of crackers. He opened them slowly and handed the first one to Kyle, "Just a couple more calls okay? You’re being real good, real quiet."

"Shhh." Kyle held his finger to his lips.

"Yep, shhhh." JC nodded and reached for the worn piece of paper on the nightstand. He dialed the police station and asked for Officer Whaley.

"Whaley." She answered in the same gruff tone as before.

"H-hi. This is JC Chasez." He stuttered.

"Hello Mr. Chasez, how are you?"

"I’ve been better." He answered honestly.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah I got the results back this morning. I’m uh… I’m his father." His voice shook with nerves as he said the words for only the second time. "I know you’ve probably got like a billion questions to ask and stuff."

"Yes, this changes the investigation a bit." She nodded and clicked her pen open and closed. "Do you have a minute?"

"Are you coming over?"

"No, we can do this over the phone." She said slowly. "Okay, with you being the child’s biological father, the investigation into his parentage is all but over."

"But… but uh what about his mother?" JC sputtered.

"Our goal for the investigation was to find a biological parent, or to place the child into protective custody until a parent of family member could be located."

"What if the parent of family member didn’t… couldn’t take the child?"

"Then they would relinquish custodial rights to the state and the child would be placed up for adoption, assuming all avenues had been followed for finding any alternate family members."

"So because I’m the biological father, you’re not going to look for his mom any more? I mean, isn’t it against the law to abandon a kid?"

"Yes, it is. However this is a different situation, she left him with his biological father." Officer Whaley explained. "If you’d like to try to press charges we will need a name and description, or you can place a missing persons report. Both of which you can do here at the station."

"Then you’d look for her?"

"Yes, just like any other missing person."

"But you would need her name and description either way, right?" JC sighed.

"Yes."

"So I’m stuck?"

Officer Whaley paused for a second, using her willpower to keep her professional demeanor. "You are his father."

"I know that." He rolled his eyes.

"Then yes, you’re stuck with him." She said with a little more snap than necessary.

"I didn’t mean stuck with him, I meant stuck as far as finding his mom."

"Oh." She said quickly. "You can hire a private investigator of your own, someone who would be able to devote more time searching for a faceless and nameless woman. They would have the time to search through birth records for a child born on your son’s birthday."

JC took a deep breath and rubbed his eyes, "So that’s it then?"

"That’s about it yes. I’ll help you where I can, but as far as my involvement in this case, this is really as far as it goes."

Kyle swung the drapes back and forth at the door to the balcony as he bounced up and down with Elmo under his arm and a cracker in his hand dropping crumbs at every move. "Okay." JC sighed and felt his world slipping out from under him. He was a father now with no way out and nowhere to turn. "Well uh… thanks then. Is there anything uh… anything else you need?"

"Not right now." Officer Whaley spun a pencil in her hands. "If you can think of anything else, please feel free to call into the precinct."

"I will, and if you hear anything else, you’ll call me?"

"Yes, I believe we have your management teams phone number on file." She nodded as she scanned the document in front of her. She rattled off the number for him to verify.

"Yeah, that’s it." JC nodded. "Thanks."

"Thank you Mr. Chasez."

"Bye." JC hung up the phone and stood up to open the sliding glass door. He was going to need lots of fresh air for the next call he had to make… Ali was not going to understand.

 

On to chapter 5… 

 

 

Copyright � 2001, Amy Lynn