"Please can I go with you?  Pleeeaaassseee??"  Fiona begged her room mate Carter as she stood in the doorway of their shared bathroom.  "Come on… it'll be fun."

            "Yes.  It will be fun.  For me."  He leaned closer to the mirror and put his hair perfectly into place as he met her eye in the reflection.

            "Carter."  She sighed.

            "What?"

            "Why can't I go?"

            "It's a free country Fi; you can go if you want."  Carter stood up straight and tugged at the front of his shirt.  "Just not with me."  He turned on his heel and brushed past her in his bare feet.

            "I don't want to show up alone."

            "I don't want to show up with a hag."  He argued as he sat on the corner of his bed to put his socks and boots on.  "I'm going with Jamie; I can't spend the night babysitting you."

            "Don't wear those."  Fiona frowned and kicked one of his boots under the bed.  "Wear the Docs.  And you don't have to baby-sit me for crying out loud, I'm an adult."

            Carter sighed and went to his closet for his Doc Martens; he hated when she was right.  "Listen, I'll drive you but you've gotta ignore me all night, okay?"

            "Who am I supposed to talk to?"

            "I don't know Fi. I don't know why you want to go to a gay bar in the first place."

            "So I can go dancing without worrying about what asshole is grabbing my cheeks or who's trying to get in my pants."

            "I can promise no one at these clubs wants to get in those."  He glanced down at her tight jeans.  "Except the other girls."

            "There are lesbians there?"

            "Honey, it's a gay bar."  He rolled his eyes and tied his shoes.  "Actually, most of the girls there are straight and there for the same reason you are.  The other half are just looking for shopping buddies.  Maybe two or three of them are butch.  But anyway… are you ready?"  He stood up and put his hands on his hips.  "No, I can see you're not.  You're not wearing that."

            "What's wrong with this?"  She looked down at her t-shirt and jeans.  "It's comfortable."

            "Yeah, if you're going to Buffalo Joe's to go line dancing."  Carter grabbed her hand and shoved her toward her room.  "I swear to God, if I have to go in there and dress you I'm going to leave you here."

            "Wait, what should I wear?"

            “How many times have you been out clubbing with me?”

            “I’m just asking.”  She sighed loudly.

            "Wear whatever you want."

            "A dress?"

            Carter glared at her across the narrow hall and said, "I'm calling Jamie to tell him we're going to the Edge.  When I hang up I'm leaving, so get ready."

            "But -”

            "Jjjt."  Carter put his fingers across her lips.  "Go change."  He raised his eyebrow then released her and headed for the kitchen to call his friend.

            Fiona tossed open her small closet and hastily ripped through the clothes looking for something appropriate.  She finally decided on the jeans she was already wearing and a little black scoop neck bodysuit type top.  In a matter of seconds she had her pants off and the bodysuit halfway up eyeing her four-inch heel boots in the corner.

            "The countdown in starting!"  Carter hollered from the front room.  "Jamie is leaving his house right now.  I'm grabbing my keys."  She heard them jingle in his hand as she shoved her arms in the tight sleeves.  "I've got my wallet… come on Fi.  I'm almost to the front door."

            "Hold on just a second."  She shouted back.  She adjusted the neckline then pulled her jeans up and grabbed the boots.  As she rounded the corner into the living room, she saw Carter at the front door holding it open.  She pulled her left boot on and hobbled out the door, grabbing her purse off the hook as she passed it.  "You suck."

            "You're the one who begged to go."  Carter laughed and slapped her ass he as set the alarm and locked the door behind him.

            "Well you don't have to be a bitch about it, sheesh."  Fiona stood by Carter's car and waited as he unlocked the doors.

            "Fiona."  Carter sighed.  "Nevermind.  Listen, there are ground rules."

            "I've been clubbing with you before."

            "There are ground rules."  He repeated.

            "Fine okay, what are the ground rules?"  Fiona distracted herself by staring out the window as they drove down the street.

            "Are you listening?"

            "I'm listening."  She sighed and rolled her window down.

            "I know your hearts in the right place, but no finding me boys to take home."

            "What?!"

            "I don't need a pimp."

            "I'm not your pimp, I'm just helping."

            "I don't need your help."

            "Oh really."  Fiona raised her eyebrow at him.  They lived in the same house; she knew how long it had been for him.

            "Fi… I'd like to not look desperate tonight."  Carter sighed.  "I haven't been out in like, three weeks."

            "I know."

            "And I haven't hooked up in like, four."

            "I know.  Trust me, I know."

            "So can you just do me a favor and not drag boys over to me tonight?  Let me find them on my own?"

            "Fine."  She grumbled and looked out the open window.  "I'll just save all the good ones for Jamie."

            "I'm sure he'll appreciate that."  Carter nodded.

            "I'm sure he will."  She tried to sound bitter, but her mind was already wandering.

 

            Carter drove downtown to The Edge and parked a half of a block away then walked five paces in front of Fiona to the entrance where a flock of gorgeous men were waiting to get in.  One singled Fiona out and sauntered up next to her with an evil and flirtatious grin.  "Come here often?"  He crooned softly into her ear.

            "Hey baby."  Fiona smiled and gave Jamie a hug as she stepped off the curb.

            "Hey Fi.  How'd you talk this elitist into letting you come?"  He asked as he draped his arm over her shoulders and kissed her temple quickly.

            "Don’t start.  I already regret it."  Carter rolled his eyes, but smiled slightly.  No one could be grumpy or frown while Jamie was around.

            "Oh don't regret it honey.  Living with regret makes your dick limp.  Enjoy the fact that your girl wife wants to hang out."

            "Yeah, so if I get lucky tonight, you'll take her home with you?"

            "To my bachelor pad?  I think... no."  Jamie shook his head.  "No offense sweetie, but I tend to bring home the loud ones." Jamie smiled and rolled his eyes as if that was annoying.  "Besides, you chose to live with her and she'd be there even if you didn't bring her with you tonight."

            "Yeah, but imagine the car ride home."  Carter folded his arms over his chest.

            "I told you fifty billion times I'll catch a cab.  Stop being such a bitch about it I swear.  You're busting my chub."  Fiona dug in her pocket for the cover charge and paid for all of their admissions.  "There, I got you in so quit your complaining."

            "Thanks doll."  Jamie planted a kiss on her cheek then danced through the door.

            "Thanks."  Carter mumbled as he held his arm out for the stamp.

            "You're welcome."  Fiona got her wrist stamped as well then followed him in and to the bar where Jamie had already ordered the first round.

            "So are you gonna hit the floor and dance with us tonight?"  Jamie asked Fiona as he handed her the bottle of water she always drank.

            "No."  Carter answered for her.

            Fiona gave him a dirty look and sighed, "No, I wouldn't want to intrude on the Princess's personal space or whatever."

            Jamie rolled his eyes, "Ignore the Princess and come dance with me."

            "You aren't shopping tonight?"

            "I can shop over your shoulder."  Jamie sipped at his dark brown drink that smelled strongly of scotch and something more woodsy.

            "You two love birds can dance all you want.  I'm here to see about hooking up.  I swear I'm in the middle of the longest dry spell."  He sighed and looked his two friends over, "I don't need either of you in my way."  Carter smiled, then tilted his beer back and took a long drink as the lime bobbed around in the bottle.

            "Listen to him; you'd think he was a stud or something."  Jamie laughed and drained his glass then set it on the counter.  He casually dropped his arm over Carter's shoulder and kissed his cheek, "If you need a man to make you feel better honey, you just go right ahead.  Anything that'll take that frown and turn it upside down." He lifted the corners of Carter's mouth with his fingers, then laughed again.

            "I'm not grouchy."  Carter smiled, because he couldn't help it when Jamie was around.

            "Yes you are.  But that's okay."  Fiona played with the cap of her water and patted Carter's cheek.  "You go get yourself some action.  I'll catch up with you later."

            "Have fun storming the castle."  Jamie screeched, quoting their favorite movie of all time as Carter rolled his eyes with a small laugh and walked away.

            "He's moody."

            "Yeah, well..."  Jamie shrugged and took Fiona's hand to lead her to the dance floor.  "Us men get like that when we hit dry spells."

            "Ha, you wanna talk about dry spells?  I've got you both beat."  Fiona scoffed then twirled under Jamie's arm as he spun her toward his favorite corner by the DJ booth.

            "Fiona darling, if you wake up tomorrow morning a gay guy, you gimme a call and I'll come end your dry spell."

            "Aww thanks Jamie.  And if you wake up straight tomorrow, will you do the same?"

            "Honey, if I wake up straight tomorrow, we'll run to Vegas and get married and pop out a dozen babies by Christmas."

            "Ooo!  Promise?"

            "Promise." Jamie kissed her cheek and laughed as they found their spot and blended into the crowd of men moving to the music.  The music pounded through their systems, moving them to the beat without thinking twice.  Lights flashed and fog rolled in at random intervals making the whole scene seem more surreal and magical than it probably was.

            Fiona was always transported to another world when she was 'clubbing with the boys', as she put it.  While there she could forget all her worries and not concern herself with the thoughts that some random guy might approach her.  For in a place like The Edge, she was not what they were looking for, and that was fine with her.  As much as she joked about a dry spell, she knew that she brought it on herself willingly.  Being in a gay club was comfortable for her, they understood each other.

            But that's not what she thought about while dancing with Jamie in the corner.  Instead she scanned the club over his shoulder, looking for a suitable man for either him or Carter for the evening.  The men were fun to look at so she had a good time while she was at it.  It never failed though; Jamie would always be the one to find the perfect specimen over her shoulder.

            "Three o'clock.  Yes?"  Jamie asked as he tapped her right shoulder with a slight nod.  Fiona turned her head and looked at a group of four guys dancing by the edge of the dance floor.  "Red shirt.  Dockers."

            "Nice."  Fiona raised her eyebrow.  Nice was an understatement.  It was guys like that who made her desperately want to snap her fingers to make him straight.  "He is… pretty."

            "He's fucking gorgeous."  Jamie laughed and leaned in to be heard over the music as it changed to a much quicker tempo.  "Outta my league."

            "But worth a shot."  They said in unison.

            "Good luck."  Fiona smiled and danced her way to the far edge, then stepped off the dance floor to take a short break.  She bought herself a bottle of water at the bar and drank half of it before she stepped away and headed for the second floor.

            Fiona climbed the stairs alone, sidestepping the couple making out on the shallow landing.  "Excuse me." She said softly as their shoulders brushed.  When she reached the top railing she leaned forward and cracked open her bottle of water.  After seeing one too many 'after school specials' about drinks getting spiked in clubs, she always stuck to the safe route.  Bottled and sealed water.  That way there was no chance of someone slipping her a hit of something she wasn't expecting.

            From fifteen feet above, the dance floor seemed to ripple with movement.  The lights on the ceiling rotated and flashed with no real distinguishable pattern as the fog machines went off and clouded her view.  Within seconds the fog was gone and she could see again, quickly spotting Jamie dancing alone in a corner.  He wasn't very good, but he was having a great time and mostly scoping the crowd anyway.  Guys didn't like Jamie for his dancing skill, that was for sure.  They liked him because he was Jamie.  No holds barred.  One week he'd be there in red leather pants and an orange mesh half top, and the following week he would be there in a suit with a bright green and blue tie.  This week he was decked out like a high schooler in ill fitting baggy jeans and a plain white undershirt that would have fit maybe a bit too snug for a straight guy, but for Jamie it was perfect.

            Jamie glanced up just then and caught her eye with a quick smile.  He raised his beer in a silent toast, then took a sip.  She raised her water in response and laughed as the young man leaning onto the bar beside him quickly distracted him.

            Fiona drank half of her water and scanned the crowd again. That was what she enjoyed doing the most, just watching the people.  If people watching were a sport she'd be a champion.  The music changed abruptly and suddenly Cher's voice was reverberating off the walls and through the air.  She smiled and shook her hips to the techno beat laid down behind her tracks as her eyes fell on a group of guys on the edge of the dance floor.  They seemed oblivious to everyone else there, but perfectly happy in their own little element.

            Two of them stood close together dancing, yet not touching and not scoping the floor for others to join them.  The third guy stood almost behind the one with the cap and kept glancing across the floor.  She could tell they were all there together because when one would laugh and bump another one, they would all laugh.  Even the distracted room scoper in the back.

            "What a fuckin waste of good a good man."  Fiona mumbled to herself as the guy with the cap laughed again, showing off his dazzling smile that was so contagious she found herself smiling despite herself.  He wore a white In & Out Burger shirt that clung a bit across his chest so not to hide the fact that he was fit.  His feet moved with a mind of their own and his whole body moved with precise perfection to the music as if he could not only hear but feel, taste, and move the music on his own.

            "All righty then."  Fiona said under her breath as she finished the last of her water and left the bottle on the rail next to the half dozen empty glasses.  She hopped down the stairs, dodging the same couple on the landing.  "Excuse me."  She said again, as if they might hear.

            When she made it to the ground floor she looked around for the dancing troupe of boys, but couldn't find them.  Jamie was making eyes at a boy in a purple wifebeater and didn't even see Fiona standing less then five feet away.  She sighed and took a step backwards to be closer to the wall to get a wider view of the dance floor as she opened her little purse and pulled out a piece of gum.

            She popped the hard white piece of gum through the back of the package and stuck it in her mouth, the sharp spearmint vapor rushing down her throat and up her nose.  "Excuse me, do you have -”  The mans words were lost in the sudden change of music.

            "Hmm?"  Fiona turned her head to see the cap boy standing at her side.  "What?"  She asked as she tried to keep her eyes from watering.  The gum was stronger than she expected and it felt like fire on her tongue.

            "Gum."  He smiled, but the brim of his cap covered his eyes.  "Do you have an extra piece?"

            "Oh, yeah.  Sure.  Hang on."  She opened her purse and swallowed three times to get the burning saliva out of her mouth.  "It's hot though."

            "Hot?"

            She popped the piece out of the back of the package and handed it to him.  "It's hot.  It's real strong."  She held the gum between her teeth to give her tongue a break for a second.  If she could get through the fist minute the gum was her favorite, but until then she had to deal with the burning sinuses.

            "I like it."  He laughed and popped it into his mouth.  He chewed for a second then blew out his breath. Fiona half expected it to freeze in midair like in the commercials, but instead it passed under her nose and smelled of both mint and beer.  "Thanks."  He nodded and turned his attention back to the floor.

            "No problem."  Fiona smiled and snapped her purse closed.  Slowly her mouth went back to the normal temperature, but the cap boy was still standing beside her.  He bopped his head to the beat and moved his feet almost unconsciously.

            She caught herself staring and intended to look away, but he turned on her suddenly.  "I'm gonna get a drink, do you want anything?"

            "Ah, no I don't drink.  Thanks."  She smiled and tried to inconspicuously dip lower to see her eyes.  His smile was familiar and she didn't want to embarrass herself if he was someone she'd met before.

            "How about a water?  You've gotta keep yourself hydrated you know."

            "I… sure.  A water would be great."  She nodded and followed him to the bar.  He ordered the drinks out of her earshot, then tapped her elbow with the cold bottle.  "Thanks."  She twisted the top off and took a long drink.  The cool water seemed positively frigid over the harsh mint of her gum.  "Where are your friends?"

            "My friends?"

            "The ones you were dancing with."  Fiona nodded to the corner where she had been watching them.  Two older men were dancing in their spot at the moment and that wasn't who she meant.

            "Oh, they went to the bathroom."

            "Ah."  Fiona nodded and clamped her mouth shut.  She'd been in the bathrooms there enough times to know what went on in there.  Most of the time anyway.  The ladies room was used as a bathroom for both sexes, and the men’s room was used for… not a bathroom.

            "The ladies room."  The guy laughed as he caught her expression.  "He's… well they've got a gay bathroom phobia or whatever so they have to go in a team."

            "A gay bathroom phobia?"  Fiona laughed.

            "Well yeah.  I guess that's what you'd call it."  He laughed and shrugged as he brought the bottle to his lips.  He tilted his head back to take a drink and at that moment the lights in the club went from strobe light white to dark green, hiding his face from view yet again.

            "They are afraid of gay bathrooms and they came to The Edge?"

            "I know.  They're just…" He shrugged.  "We come here to dance, but I think seeing the dudes in the bathroom… you know… getting…"  He shrugged again and bumped shoulders with her.  "It's just not what they came here for."

            "Ahh I see."

            "Eh."  He made a non-committal sound in his throat and rolled the bottle between his hands.  "It's hot in here man.  You wanna go up to the deck?"

            Fiona thought for a second.  If she didn't know any better she'd think the guy was hitting on her, or trying to anyway.  "Sure."  She nodded and tried to give him a flirty smile just in case he was only there to dance while his gay buddies looked for guys.  It would take a strong and open minded straight man to come to The Edge on his own.  The ones she'd seen there were few and far between.

            "Cool."  He smiled back after a moment's pause then jerked his head toward the stairs, "Ladies first."  He said softly, barely audible over the music.

            Fiona blushed slightly in the darkness and headed up the stairs.  When they got to the second floor he put his hand on her elbow to stop her in front of the restrooms.  He held up his finger to ask her to wait, then sauntered into the ladies room with his eyes on the floor.  Fiona stood at the railing for a minute and watched the dancers below her.  She spotted another girl dancing and having a great time with two teenage looking boys in the corner.  They looked lost and Fiona could tell it was probably only their first or second time in a club like this.  She'd spent many nights dancing with Jamie the same way when he was, as he put it, 'in no condition to bed a man'.  She wasn't sure exactly what Jamie meant when he said that, all she knew was that she would end up going home sweaty, exhausted and worked out.

            When the cap boy came out next, two other guys were with him, the two she'd seen on the floor.  He leaned in to say something in the skinny boy's ear, then he nodded and slapped the cap guy on the shoulder.  The other guy, the blonde, shoved his hands in his pockets and followed the guy in the cap over to where she stood.  "Okay." He smiled and they continued up to the rooftop deck.

            When they hit the well-lit area on the roof the boy in the cap made a beeline to the only open table by the ledge.  Fiona unscrewed the cap of her bottle of water and took a few long sips as she leaned against the elbow high table and got a good look at her companions.  The dimness and fogginess of the dance floor had clouded her vision, but outside she could see clearly who she was standing with and almost choked.  "Hey!"  She sputtered in surprise.

            "You okay?"  She heard the now familiar voice and felt a strong hand whapping her on her back as she tried to regain her breath.

            "Yeah.  Yeah, no I'm okay."  Fiona took a deep breath and coughed one last time as the others tried not to laugh.  "Sorry."

            "It's okay." Justin smiled, knowing what the choking was all about.  "Well… we've been found out.  I'm Justin."  He reached to tip his cap like a southern gentleman.

            "I know." Fiona nodded.

            "And you are…?"  He asked gently with a raised eyebrow and an incredibly flirty smile.

            "Oh shit, I'm sorry.  I'm Fiona.  Hi."  She smiled at Justin and glanced at Lance who was trying not to look at her.  "I… what are you doing here?"  She took a step back to lean against the railing where the breeze could reach her.

            "The same thing you are."  Justin shrugged.

            "Trying not to get your ass grabbed?"  She asked with only half of a smile.  On the few occasions that she completely lost her adult composure, she did it well.  Determined not to let this be a prime example of that, she tried to look unimpressed by their names.

            "No."  Lance shook his head.  "We're just here to dance."

            "Yeah."  Justin agreed almost too quickly.

            "There are tons of non-gay clubs in the city you know."

            "Uh huh."  Justin nodded.  "And they're full of girls who can get out of hand.  In a place like this we can be anonymous."

            Fiona laughed shortly, "You think gay guys don't know who you are?"

            "They understand our need to be just faceless guys dancing.  If they've recognized us they haven't said anything.  I mean, I know we've been out almost every night this week and the only guys who have talked to me were just hitting on me.  They didn't mention me by name or anything."

            "Why do you think they were hitting on you?"

            "Because I'm gorgeous."  Justin shrugged then laughed when Lance hit him in the shoulder.  "Listen, even if they were hitting on me 'cause I'm Justin Timberlake… that doesn't make a difference.  These clubs are a million times more fun than straight clubs anyway.  You won't hear one of our songs played here, we aren't mauled by girls and we can actually dance instead of hiding out in the VIP section away from the floor." 

            "What about you?"  She looked at Lance.

            "I just follow them."  Lance shrugged.

            "Aren't you supposed to be in Russia or something?"  Fiona asked, and immediately blushed.  She thanked God that it was dark so that the blush was hidden, though she couldn't retract the words.

            "I uh... yeah.  I'm in town actually to get some psychological tests done.  I go back to really start the training on Tuesday."  Lance explained softly.

            "One last party before you go huh?"

            "Something like that."  Lance swished the water in his bottle and tried not to yawn.  "I'm beat though, are we going soon?" He asked with a quick look at Justin.

            "Yeah.  I think we can head out whenever.  He's uh… well yeah, we can leave."  Justin pursed his lips and nodded at Lance, a secret message flitting between their eyes.

            "Cool."  Lance's eyes danced out over the city beneath them.

            "You guys are leaving?"  Fiona asked.

            "Soon."  Justin nodded in response, and then kept nodding to the beat.

 

            For the next hour Fiona chatted with Justin and watched Lance get progressively bored and tired.  At a quarter after one she smiled at Lance then turned to Justin, "I think he's partied out."

            "Yeah." Justin nodded and bumped his shoulder against Lance.  "You ready to get outta here?"

            "I've been ready."  Lance smiled, but a small yawn escaped behind it.  "It was nice to meet you." He cordially shook Fiona's hand then met Justin's eye and nodded for the stairs.

            "I'm sorry I took you away from your dancing tonight." She smiled at Justin as her heart raced.  If she had her senses about her she'd ask them for their autographs, but a purse and pen didn't exactly go with her outfit and she wasn't about to drag them around looking for something to write with and on.

            "Hey, no problem.  I can dance anytime I want." Justin laughed and shimmied his feet to the beat below them.

            "It was nice to uh... to meet you."  Fiona stuttered as she extended her hand.

            "You too." Justin shook it then held on for a second.  "Maybe I'll see you around here again next time I'm in town."

            "Y-yeah."  She forced a smile; she'd definitely have to come back with Carter.

            "Good night.  Be safe." Justin cast a wary look around the crowd of guys, then laughed again.

            "I will.  You too." She glanced down at his butt with a raised eyebrow.

            "Touché."  Justin laughed and raised his hand in farewell.

            Fiona stayed upstairs for another couple minutes as she mentally replayed the last hour in her head.  It was a night she wouldn't soon forget and she couldn’t wait to tell Carter all about it.  "Where is that little brat anyway?"  Fiona mumbled to herself with a quick frown.  She hopped back down to the second level and stood above the dance floor to try to locate Carter or Jamie.

            "Hey there sugar lips." Jamie pranced over to Fiona and dropped his arm over her shoulder.  "Your boy left with another man.  I'll tell you all about it in the car.  Are you ready to go?"

            "Carter went home with someone?" Fiona looked worried for a second. She knew he did it, but that didn't make her any more comfortable with him going home with strangers.

            "I think they were going to his house."

            "Whose house?  The guy?"

            "Yours.  Carter's."

            "Joy."  She rolled her eyes.  Sure that was better because she at least knew where he was, but she still had to go home knowing that her roomie was scoring and she was not.

            "For him, yes." Jamie smiled and kissed her cheek.  "Come on. Let's go.  I have got to tell you about this guy."

            "You met someone too?"

            "I met a few someone's."  He smirked.  "But sadly, I'm going home alone."  Jamie sighed and shook his head with a pitiful look.

            "Life's rough."

            "Yeah, well… what are you gonna do?  I came, I saw, I came again and now I'm leaving."  He steered her toward the exit.  "But I'm talking about your husband's conquest for the night.  You won't believe me anyway, but I've gotta tell you."

            "Okay, okay."  Fiona finished off her fifth bottle of water for the night then tossed it in the trash by the door.  They walked out to Jamie's little black Geo while he scanned the parking lot, probably hoping for a last minute trick to appear out of nowhere.

            When they got to the car without anyone interrupting them he unlocked the car doors and slid into the driver's seat.  Jamie adjusted the rear view mirror to brush his hair off his forehead then sighed and looked at Fiona.  "Okay.  You know Nsync?"  He slammed the door shut and turned the dome light on.

            "Uh huh."  Fiona nodded.  "They were here tonight."

            "Well at least one of them was." His smile grew.

            "More than that, I danced with them."

            "They were all here?"  Jamie's smile fell and he frowned.

            "Well, two of them were, yeah.  Maybe three.  I chewed gum with Justin and then we went upstairs with Lance."

            "Okay, well JC was here too."

            "Yeah?"

            "Yeah."  Jamie's smile returned and he gave her a knowing look as he nodded slowly.  "Yes… he was."

            "Shut. Up."  Fiona's eyes widened.  "You did not."

            "I didn't what?"

            "You did not score with JC from Nsync."

            "Me?  Heavens no.  Good Lord, do you think I'd be talking to you if I got off on JC?"  He rolled his eyes and started the car.  "But I will positively lick Carter from top to bottom in hopes of getting some JC residue."

            "Wait… wh-what?"

            "That's what I've been trying to tell you doll.  Our boy Carter is taking JC Chasez home with him."

            "To…?"

            "If all goes right, then yes.  To…" He waved his hand and turned into traffic.

            "You lie."

            "I wouldn't lie about something like that."

            "He's not gay."

            "Carter is so gay, it hurts."

            "No, JC isn't gay."  Fiona pressed her eyes closed as they sped through an intersection to beat the red light.

            "Well… his tongue is."  Jamie shrugged.  "At least it was when it was halfway down Carter's throat."

            "Are you serious?"

            "I am so serious."  He steered onto the freeway and headed north.  "It figures huh?  In a city full of famous people, Carter gets to be the one to hook up with one while I'm left driving the straight girl home." He shook his head.  "No offense." Jamie added quickly.

            "You're sure it was JC?"

            "Honey, there's one thing I know and that's my boybands."

            "But Jamie… he's not gay."

            "Your gaydar is broked hun. He's gay."

            "He's got a girl -”

            "Beard." Jamie shook his head.

            "Shit.  No way."  Fiona shook her head and sighed.  "She's his beard?"

            "Hell yes.  Have you seen them together?  She's too beautiful to be a real girlfriend.  My guess is she's a dyke and is using him too.  But oh yes, he is one with the boy liking vibe."

            "What about the others?"

            "In Nsync? Nah, I think they're all straight. None of them dipped into the pink on the gay-o-meter.  But I'm pretty sure Lance has thought about it."

            "You've analyzed this?"

            "I have a whole fucking spreadsheet with charts and graphs."

            "You need help."

            "No.  I need ready access to the Backstreet boys because three outta five is good odds for me."

            "Shut up."

            "Seriously.

            "They're married."

            "The two straight ones are, yep."

            "AJ is engaged."

            "The ultimate beard.  You wanna know why?  Because he's the gayest of them all.  No joke."

            "AJ is gay?"  Fiona asked.  Jamie responded with a wide grin and an emphatic nod.  "Seriously?"

            "And he's a bottom."

            "Uh uh."  Fiona shook her head.  "No.  I'll agree that he might have gay tendencies, but he's a brutal top if anything.  Have you seen him?  Mr. Rehab?"

            "I've seen him."  Jamie nodded and laughed.  "How often am I wrong about these things?"

            "I don't know."  Fiona sighed and looked out the window, unwilling to even ponder for a moment that AJ was gay.  "But I guess we can all think what we like since we'll never really know."

            "Oh I'll find out."

            "If he's gay he obviously doesn't want to be found out."

            "Want to or not... there's a guy out there who knows first hand that I'm right.  On all counts."  He pointedly looked over at Fiona as she made a face and rolled her window down.

            "Just take me home and let me live with the fantasy that there's at least one straight boybander that I can fantasize about."

            "You can fantasize about all of them honey.  God knows I do."  Jamie shifted uncomfortably in his seat and laughed again as Fiona closed her eyes and laughed softly.  She decided that it would be better to keep her mouth shut for the rest of the ride home so she watched the traffic whip past her window and counted street lights before they passed the strip mall on the corner… they were almost home.

 

 

            "You've gotta sign this thing." JC said as he pressed his mouth to Carter's red and moist lips.  The only light in the room came from the flood light on the side yard just outside of Carter's small window by the closet.  Shadows danced across the wall when JC reached and shut the bedroom door as he pulled away from Carter to let him answer.

            "What?"

            "Privacy."  JC ran his tongue across Carter's lower lip.  "Statement."  From his back pocket he pulled out a folded piece of paper and shook it out to full size.

            "Wait, what?"  Carter pulled his head back and frowned.  "A privacy statement?"

            One of JC's shoulders raised in a half-shrug.  "So the Enquirer doesn't get the full story from the horse’s mouth."  He gave Carter a sly grin and leaned in to continue the kiss.

            "I'm not going to say anything." Carter turned his head away at the last minute.

            "Great."  JC waved the paper in front of him then dangled it in front of his zipper.

            "I'm not signing that though."

            "Yeah you are."  JC used his free hand to grab Carter's waistband and pull their hips together with the privacy statement between them.  "It's the only thing that separates me from you." His hand snaked between the paper and Carter's pants as he gave a little squeeze to Carter's growing bulge.

            "Fuck that."  Carter scowled and against his better judgment took two steps back.  He tried to capture an image of something gross to kill the impending hard on in his pants but it wasn't working.  He wanted JC and that much was clear, but not with a signed paper between them.

            "What?"

            "You want me to sign something before you let me blow you?  That's… that's the most fucked up thing I've ever heard."

            "Come on, it's not like that."  JC peeled himself away from the wall and reached again for Carter's pants.

            "No."  Carter took another step back so that he was against the far wall with nowhere else to go.  "If you can't trust me enough to know I'm not going to say anything, then maybe you shouldn't be here."

            JC bit his bottom lip and nodded with a look of concentration.  "You're right."  And in a blur of black and white, he was gone.

 

            The silver BMW made a U-turn in the street as Jamie pulled up to the curb in front of Fiona's house.  They didn't give it a second look as Fiona opened the car door and climbed out with her keys in her hand.  "Thanks Jamie."

            "Anytime kiddo.  See you Monday."  Jamie waved and waited as Fiona walked up to the front door and let herself in.  When she locked the door from the inside she heard Jamie's car pull away from the curb, and shuttled herself to bed.

            The house was silent but she turned on her little radio anyway in case Carter and his friend weren't so silent later.  She wasn't convinced that it was JC though.  Jamie's imagination could get out of control sometimes which made him a perfect animator and unless she saw for herself or unless Carter said something, she'd just pretend that she didn't know anything.

 

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

 

            Fiona awoke early the next morning, her body just couldn't shake the 'must be up at seven in the morning' schedule she had all week, even if it was the weekend.  She decided that since she was up she'd head out to the beach and maybe get some excersize, but not before she had her coffee.  After dressing in jogging shorts and a t-shirt she set the pot of coffee and tied her shoes as it brewed.

            The rich aroma of the Starbucks Original Blend coffee wafted through the house as Carter made rousing sounds from his room.  "So…?"  Fiona smirked and waggled her eyebrows at Carter as he emerged ten minutes later with his hair standing wildly on end.  "Here you go dah'lin."  She handed him a mug of coffee; room temperature with cream and lots of sugar… just how he liked it.  "How was it?"

            "It wasn't."

            "What?"

            "Did Jamie tell you?"

            "Tell me what?"  Fiona asked innocently.  Carter sipped his coffee and raised his eyebrow over the rim of his cup.  "Yeah, he told me."  She stirred a heaping spoonful of sugar into her coffee and blew on it.  "So… it wasn't?"

            "No, it was."

            "You've lost me."

            "It was him."  Carter took a large mouthful of the coffee and swished it around before he swallowed it in a loud gulp.

            "But the evening wasn't?"

            "Oh.  No.  It wasn't."

            "Why?"

            "He wanted me to sign that." Carter nodded at the paper folded in thirds on the table.

            "This?"  She lifted it and gave the paper a look.  "What is it?"

            "It's a privacy statement."

            "For what?"

            "So that I can't go to the media or whatever."

            "Okay?"  She unfolded it and looked at the bottom.  The signature line was noticeably bare.  "You didn't sign it?"  He shook his head slowly as he took a long sip of his coffee.  "You didn't sign it and he left?" He nodded in response.  "Are you crazy?"  Carter shook his head and set the mug down.  "Why didn't you sign it?  Carter… he's…"

            "JC.  I know."

            "But why wouldn't you sign it?  I mean, I don't see the big deal."

            "Because it's just tacky.  You don't understand."

            "You're damn right I don’t.  If he came up to me and said 'sign this so we can have wild monkey sex all night' I wouldn't be able to find a pen fast enough."  She handed him the form and shook her head.  "I can't believe you sometimes."

            "He trusted me enough to grope me in public, to come back to my house and to practically tear my clothes off when we got in the door."

            "I thought I saw buttons on the floor."  Fiona craned her neck to look on the hardwood floor by the door.

            "But he didn't trust me enough to not say anything?  That's fucked up.  That's stupid.  I'm not buying into that."

            "He's just covering his ass.  So he can uncover it."  She snickered to herself.  "I mean come on.  You think it's easy for him?  Do you know how many people would have sex with him and actually blab it to the press?"

            Carter sighed and rolled his eyes in response.  "That doesn't make a difference."

            "He's not exactly what you'd call openly gay Carter."

            "He was at The Edge."

            "Along with two of his straight friends."  She pointed out.  "Well, maybe.  One might not be entirely straight either.  I can't say for sure."  She added thoughtfully as she remembered Jamie’s analysis.  "Either way, to the general public and his teenage fans he's straight.  He's got the beard to prove it."

            "So?"

            Fiona sighed and set her empty mug down.  "So what I'm saying is that he has a right to be leery of who he takes home… or goes home with."

            "Right, so he should have thought of that before he came over."

            "Yeah maybe.  But shit, he's not asking you to sign that to be a prick, he's just being careful.  Maybe he's been burned in the past."  She paused for a second as she pursed her lips and stood up.  With a motherly kiss on the top of his head she said, “You know what that's like…"

            "Dammit Fi."  Carter closed his eyes and sighed.  "Go away."

            "I'm going."  She grabbed her keys off the hook and pulled the front door open.  "It's too bad you blew it though.  I wouldn’t mind waking up to that man in my bathroom."  She stared at the ceiling wistfully and gave a short sigh of content before she laughed.  "Oh well, maybe next time."

            "Hrmph."  Carter made a discouraging sound in his throat as the front door drifted closed.  As if there would be a next time.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2002, 2003  Amy Lynn