Somebody Needs You 5
It didn't take long to get to Madison Square Garden and as soon as they were out of the car Colleen and Lance were whisked backstage. On the one hand she liked the way that things were just done and she was pulled along for the ride, but at the same time she wished that someone would actually explain that all of this was real and that she was on a date with Lance Bass, a multi-millionaire recording artist going to a concert of one of her favorite artists. Nothing seemed real and she almost wanted Lance to pinch her to make sure that it was all real.
She was about to ask him where they were going. Loni had been there all night, but hadn't really said much to her other than instructions. She didn't get to say anything to him because they were interrupted by someone yelling his name.
They turned from where they were walking to see a dark haired older man approaching. She would have guessed right off that he was a manager or one of the higher ups. He didn't seem relaxed at all, even if his smile was kind. He was in business mode. She'd seen it before from a million and one businessmen on business trips. "Sorry for not meeting you out there. We were glad that you could come out tonight. John was glad that you decided to take up his offer since he had such a blast with you and the other guys at the last awards ceremony."
"No trouble Robert," Lance said reaching blindly to take her hand. She would have turned to look at his hand, but he turned towards her to introduce her. "This is Colleen Blanchard. She's the real John Mayer fan. I love the guy, but she's pretty much obsessive about him. Colleen. This is Robert Unger, One of John's managers."
"Thanks," Colleen said blushing. "I'm really not obsessive. I just love the lyrics and well he's a hell of a performer."
Robert nodded and then after a moment put a finger up and grabbed up his walkie talkie. A cryptic code of speech came over the line before Robert turned to look at them again. "John's family was supposed to come in tonight, but his aunt just got admitted to the hospital for some tests so they flew to Indiana to be with her. It'll be good for him to have some familiar faces around tonight."
"Is she gonna be ok?"
"Nothing serious," Robert explained, "It's just bummed him out a little. His friends came around a little while ago, but they were more into the concert scene than into hanging with him for some reason. Maybe he just wanted to be alone."
"That's too bad," Colleen said, "I don't want to bother him if he's not--"
"He's in a strange mood right now, but he said he was wondering when you'd get here. We've ordered up burgers for tonight for everyone." He looked down the hall for a moment. "If you want to come with me I'll take you down to his dressing room."
Moments later they were being led into the small dressing room where John was staying. They could hear guitar music as they walked in and Colleen knew instantly that it was Extreme's More Than Words. She was a big enough fan to know that this was one of the first songs he'd ever learned how to play on guitar. She just didn't expect to hear him playing it ever. He wasn't a fan of people singing other people's songs and she figured that it was probably a rare moment to hear him singing something that wasn't his own work.
Robert took a deep breath and his voice stayed extra calm. "Lance and his friend Colleen are here."
John had his back to them. He was sitting in the doorway of the bathroom, guitar on his knee singing into the empty tiled room, but turned around and instantly came over. "Hey you guys." Physically he seemed hesitant, but his smile was broad. "How's it going?"
"Good," Lance said.
Colleen almost swallowed her tongue. She couldn't believe he was standing right in front of her. She guessed that she should have been feeling that way about Lance since technically he was more famous, but it wasn't Lance that she'd sat up listening to for months, John was a whole other creature.
She looked at Lance for a moment and finally blinked. "What?"
"Excuse her." Lance smiled at John. He put an arm around her and hugged her to his side as if they were really a couple. In any other circumstance she would have been squealing, but with the two men in her immediate vicinity it was hard to choose who to be more excited about. "She's had a long day and this trip over here tonight was a surprise for her. She's probably just a little out of sorts."
"I'm a complete idiot," she said and turned back to John. "I liked your version of More Than Words."
"Oh that," he said and blushed. "I normally don't play it, but I got bored a little tonight."
"It's the first song that you ever learned," she said, "Isn't it?"
"Yeah," he said, "Very good. You passed the test."
Lance pulled her back towards him when she started to lean towards John. "I think she's a little obsessive, but she seemed to know all the words so I figure she needed to lip-sync live with you."
Colleen didn't understand why Lance seemed so nervous all of a sudden.
"Well I don't think you're allowed on stage, but we'll get a song out there for you tonight." He looked around for a moment.
"Come on you two," Robert butted in. "All you can eat burgers and stuff tonight."
John rubbed his hands together. "I'm starving and I think that my friends from school are probably around here somewhere."
He watched her lean towards him and laugh again. It was his own fault for letting them sit together, but they seemed to be having such a good time that he wasn't about to cause a scene over it. He'd half expected that she'd be so into the gift that she'd be all over him for it, but she was all over the guest instead. They'd been sitting there in a bigger entertainment/cafeteria room with a bunch of his friends, but Lance wasn't really into this music scene. He knew enough about piano and guitar, but the band and John's friends were speaking a language that he didn't at all understand. Even after all his years in the industry he didn't know the technicalities of random instruments. He could explain their whole show up and down, but away from the group that information meant nothing.
They turned and looked at him startled almost to hear his voice. They'd been so involved with conversation in the last half hour that he wasn't sure if they'd even remembered if he was still there.
"What's up?" John asked. "Sorry about getting so caught up, but it's rare to have a fan be calm cool an collected with me.
Lance nodded. "I'm gonna go outside and make a phone call." He needed to call Carrah because as he'd been sitting there watching the two of them speaking he was remembering how he used to have conversations like that. She'd be so caught up in the conversation with him that she wouldn't remember anything else was going on. He wanted that again and needed Carrah to understand that all he wanted and needed from her was her friendship. "I'll be back."
"Ok," Colleen said looking at him.
He hated the fact that her look at him was so quick. He'd brought her to meet John because he thought that it would surprise her and win her over, but he was beginning to think that his choice to let her meet him was only going to drag her more away from him. If he knew her better he probably would be able to tell if this was her normal behavior or not, but at the moment she was acting fairly slutty, leaning towards John as if he was Jesus or something and was going to cure something or turn water into wine or something that huge.
The hallway was fairly crowded with crew
members. It was safe enough to stand there and not worry about anything.
Loni came out there with him, because he was paid to do that, but both of them
knew that it wasn't that dangerous out there. Loni nodded to him silently
telling him that he'd stay away, but keep an eye on him so he walked down the
hallway a little ways and dialed his phone. "Hello?"
"Carrah?" He could hear her sigh. "It's me." He sighed and looked around. He was upset that she didn't recognize him right away. "Did I wake you up?"
"Yeah," he said letting some of his emotion out. He needed that because at the moment he was feeling like he might explode. "Who the hell else would be calling you at this hour?"
"What time is it?"
"It's not that late." He said softly. "Sorry. I'm
at a concert, but I wanted to call you. I can't do the math in my head,
but I didn't think that it was that late. I had a minute and I thought we
He could tell that he'd woken her up, but he didn't understand why she'd be so tired at not even eight o'clock at night. "Where are you?"
"Honey go downstairs or to my office," someone mumbled in the background.
He heard her sigh again. "Ok."
"Who was that?" Lance asked.
"Nothing," she said, "My parents."
He sighed. "You're over there tonight?"
"Yeah," she said. "How'd your auditions go today?"
He squinted his eyes and tried to remember what her father's voice sounded like. It was fairly hectic in the hallway, but he wasn't sure that her father had sounded like that and he didn't remember her father having an office at home. If he did have one, he would have never made her leave the room to talk to him. Lance was like their son. "That didn't sound like your dad."
"Do you have anything important to say to me or am I gonna get a lecture?" The sound of her voice next grated on his nerves. He hated the way that she had become so irritated with him. He'd been concerned about her and she'd taken it the wrong way.
"I didn't have stuff today," he said, "I thought that I'd call you back
because I didn't want to be fighting with you."
"I had plans so I couldn't call," she said, "I'm sorry. I thought I told you that I was busy the next few days. Was there something that you wanted to tell me?"
"Yeah--" He said. He leaned up
against the wall and wanted to instantly cry to her. He needed to figure
some things out and he needed to talk to her, but he needed her there with him,
not over a phone. "Her name is Colleen, but now she's not--"
"I knew that you were going to use this as a dating service," she sighed. She seemed upset with him for no reason. They were fighting, but he seemed to be getting on her nerves a little easier than usually.
"That's not it at all," he said, "You know what. Maybe I should
hang up the phone now while so we can stop while we're ahead."
"I'm sorry," she said, "But it's me and it's the middle of he night and you know how--"
"It's you and the middle of the night?" he asked, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Never mind," he sighed. "I'm going to hang up now. I guess if you're not busy while I'm back in Clinton in a few days we'll hang out, but don't change your plans for me."
When he looked up Colleen was leaning out into the hallway. "John is gonna leave in a minute to go get changed. Do you want to come in and say goodbye?"
"Sure," he said. He tucked his phone back into his pocket and kept the scowl on his face until they got back inside.
"You ok?" John asked.
"Yeah," Lance said with a fake smile. "I've got business stuff going around that sucks right now. I just have a lot of stuff on my head."
"You sure?" Colleen said.
"Yeah," he said. He took a deep breath. "Say your good-byes girl because this guy needs to head out and you and I need to find our seats."
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